Los Angeles–based KFA Architecture has shared news—and fresh photography—of the newly opened PATH Metro Villas, a sprawling urban campus in the city’s Wilshire Center–Koreatown neighborhood dedicated to providing permanent housing and support services to seniors, veterans, and formerly unhoused individuals.
Completed over two phases, $84 million development helmed by Affirmed Housing Group also serves as the regional headquarters for PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), a California nonprofit dedicated to providing vulnerable Angelenos with safe and secure housing of permanence. A crucial element of PATH’s model is also making available the services—employment training, medical and mental health care, case management, and on—that help to ensure this housing continuity sticks. Outside of the greater L.A. area, PATH operates across Southern California, including in San Diego and Orange County, and northwards to Santa Barbara and the Central Coast, and to San Jose and the Bay Area beyond.
“In addition to providing much-needed housing, PATH is building upon its holistic service-rich approach to services, providing housing to create a diverse and nurturing community,” said KFA partner Lise Bornstein in a statement.
The 125,000-square-foot housing complex concludes PATH Metro Villas’ second phase, an effort that involved the construction of two mixed-use buildings—Buildings B and C—with 122 units of affordable housing total between them as well as multipurpose function rooms, an amphitheater, classrooms, and a range of services including a pair of on-site treatment centers—one dedicated to general healthcare and the other to mental health services—operated by John Wesley Community Health Institute and Gateways Hospital, respectively.
Phase 2 of PATH Metro Villas formally opened late last month, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
Spread across five floors in each new building, the natural light–flooded units range in size from modest studios to one-bedroom apartments and are accessed via exterior walkways, ideal for “lounging or lingering, combined with perches for people watching,” KFA detailed.
The easy proximity to communal outdoor spaces continues with a roof deck topping building C and a lushly planted garden terrace on the second level of Building B. Anchoring the pair of Phase 2 buildings and Building A, a six-story building completed in 2018 during the project’s first phase, is the Town Square. A generous plaza spread across 14,000 square feet, the Town Square serves as the connective tissue of PATH Metro Villas and offers residents ample space to relax and unwind in quiet solitude or, if they prefer, congregate in dedicated social/group activity areas. Features include a grassy expanse, outdoor furnishings, and plenty of well-shaded spots tucked beneath the three buildings.
Building A, located directly opposite the newly opened B and C Buildings, features 65 residential units, case management offices, community rooms and teaching kitchens, and other resident amenities. Between all three buildings, PATH Metro Villas offers 93 studios, 91 one-bedroom units, and three two-bedroom units reserved for on-site property management.
“It makes sense that everyone needs to feel a part of a community, part of something bigger than themselves that supports and enriches their lives,” Bornstein added. “A home is such an important first step to creating that sense of community, providing a foundation that leads to stability, wellness and opportunities. Dignity, independence and healing follow and extend far beyond those four walls.”
The last AN checked in with KFA, the award-winning practice (PATH Metro Villas was recognized with a Merit Award in the 2021 AIALA Residential Architecture Awards) had recently completed a similarly vital housing project: the Ariadne Getty Foundation Senior Housing Complex, a five-story apartment building in East Hollywood dedicated to providing safe and supportive housing to low-income LGBTQ Angelenos over the age of 62. That project was a collaboration of design architects Leong Leong and KFA, with KFA serving as executive architect. Among the firm’s many other completed affordable and supportive housing projects, including both new construction and adaptive reuse, are Paloma Terrace, Coronel Apartments, and Hollenbeck Terrace. Step Up Colorado, and Visas Del Puerto.
PATH Metro Villas is located at 320-340 Madison Avenue near the Vermont Metro Station (hence the name), and joins more than 15 housing developments operated by PATH Ventures. Five other communities are currently under construction, including PATH Villas Hollywood, PATH Villas Marina Del Ray, and PATH Villas on Carson. An additional seven developments, some designed by KFA, are in pre-development, representing 648 new permanent, supportive housing units.