Far East Building

Location: Los Angeles, CA
Date Built: 1890
Rehabilitation: 2002-2003
Original Use: Resident Hotel and Commerical
New Use: Resident Hotel and Commerical

Project Background

The mission of the Little Tokyo Service Center Community Development Corporation (LTSC CDC) is to contribute to the revitalization of the Little Tokyo community, as a multi-ethnic neighborhood, and as the cultural center for the broader Japanese American community of Southern California. The Far East Building is located in the heart of the Little Tokyo Historic District on First Street. Comprised of mom-and-pop retail stores, restaurants, and residential hotels, this community is very poor and has a median income well below the county median.

Formerly housing 24 single-room-occupancy (SRO) units and two commercial spaces, the three and one-half story Far East Building had been vacant since it suffered significant structural damage during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. The rehabilitation has restored the existing historic fabric, reinforced the masonry building's structural integrity, and converted the SRO units into 14 studios and 2 one-bedroom units. All of the units are affordable to households earning less than 50 percent of the area median income and 8 units are affordable at 35 percent of area median. The latter 8 units are subsidized by project-based Section 8 rental subsidies to provide housing for homeless persons. The famous Far East Cafe on the ground floor has been a community institution for decades. It has been restored and brought back to life as a new restaurant, which has created jobs and helped stimulate the local neighborhood economy. A second ground-floor commercial space is the new home for LTSC's DISKovery Computer Learning Center, providing technology access to Far East and area residents.

On-site supportive services are provided by LTSC CDC and its parent social service organization, Little Tokyo Service Center. Services provided include job development, computer training, case management, and emergency food and clothing distribution.

Project Financing

Summary of Costs

      • Acquisition: $60,993
      • Rehabilitation: $2,780,105
      • Soft Costs: $970,501
      • Total Development Cost: $3,811,599
      • Total Per Unit Cost: $183,438

Sources of Financing

      • Los Angeles Housing Department: $525,000
      • Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Economic Development: $400,000
      • California Department of Housing and Community Development: $515,380
      • Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles: $288,086
      • California Housing Finance Agency: $160,000
      • Valley Economic Development Center: $240,000
      • Low Income Housing Tax Credit (4%): $731,335
      • Historic Tax Credit: $600,309
      • Federal Home Loan Bank Grant: $80,000
      • HUD Supportive Housing Program: $250,000
      • Capital Campaign by LTS CDC: $21,489
      • TOTAL Fnancing Sources: $3,811,599