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VA picks developer to put 900 homes for veterans on West LA campus

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Construction is slated to start next year on the first 60 units

Courtesy of West L.A. Veterans Collective

West L.A. Veterans Collective has been selected to undertake a long-awaited revamp of the sprawling Veterans Affairs campus in West Los Angeles.

The collective will build at least 900 of the 1,200 supportive housing units that the VA has agreed to put on the 400-acre campus along Wilshire Boulevard.

“We look forward to breaking ground on what will be the largest housing facility for homeless and low-income veterans in America,” says U.S. Vets president and CEO Stephen Peck.

The collective is a partnership among Century Housing Corporation, U.S. Vets, and Thomas Safran and Associates.

The first piece of the major project will be repurposing the existing Building 207, which is expected to hold more than 60 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and chronically homeless senior veterans, according to Peck.

Building 207 will also hold community space, a library, a gym, case management offices and landscaped outdoor space, Peck says. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2019.

While work is underway on that building, the developers plan to begin community outreach for the remainder of the project. The plan is to mix new construction and reuse of existing structures, as environmental requirements and the VA allow, says Thomas Safran and Associates chairman Tom Safran.

A combination of private and public funds will pay for the transformation.

This campus redevelopment has been in the works for a few years.

That sketch of what the existing VA property could become emerged after the agency settled a lawsuit in 2015 brought by a group of disabled veterans who accused it of misusing the 387-acre property.

The veterans cited decades of use of large chunks of the property for commercial endeavors instead of housing or services for veterans.

A 2016 blueprint for the retooled campus featured housing; employment, legal, and health services; and recreation spaces.