Thursday, July 18, 2024

26 Point 2, a homeless-focused residential complex, celebrates grand opening in Central Long Beach

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26 Point 2, a five-story, 77-unit affordable residential complex at 3590 Pacific Coast Hwy. has officially opened after welcoming residents since December of 2023. The Central Long Beach, $28M development will host both residents and politicians for its ribbon cutting today at 11AM.

What is the 26 Point 2 complex and who was it built for?

“We wanted a design-forward building—one that wouldn’t hide itself, but would complement the neighborhood and stand with pride in the community,” says Peter Enzminger, development director of Long Beach–based Excelerate Housing Group, the affordablehousing developer that commissioned 26 Point 2 as its inaugural project. 

The Michael Maltzan-designed 26 Point 2 was built for low-income individuals experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of homelessness. It is a podium building—also called “five-over-one” buildings—where a cement foundation serves as the base for the wooden frames above it, a popular design choice for low-rise, fairly low density apartment complexes.

26 Point 2 extends from Pacific Coast Highway along the site’s northern edge to a residential area on the south. The massing, with a stair tower anchoring the corner, is composed of crisp-edged, interlocked volumes clad in stucco and raised on green, cylindrical columns.

“The building’s form is elevated, with the residential portion spanning the perimeter of the site, enclosing a spacious courtyard and allowing for well-lit exterior circulation paths,” said principal Michael Maltzan. “The residential volume hovers over the site on a series of columns, arching over the common amenity volume.”

According to Sarah Amelar of Architectural Record, 26 Point 2’s jagged, geometric roof line descends from V-shaped silhouettes to lower peaks. These “angled elements, punctuating the building’s orthogonal lines” are a nod to the nearby gabled houses and “the many pitched motifs along the boulevard.”

“Flashes of color, playing against the otherwise white elevations, enhance the reading of discrete yet interconnected parts,” Amelar said. “This occurs most vividly where planes of Kelly green offset the stair tower, or where pale blue returns subtly accentuate the depth of the punched apartment windows. Marking 26 Point 2’s entrance is a f lat-faced triangular pediment forming a canopy—the gable end of a stripped-down, double-pitched roof that hovers over gathering spaces at grade.”

26 Point 2 features a manager’s office, conference room, interview rooms, staff room, and break room at ground level and will provide residents with onsite supportive services via Harbor Interfaith.

The history behind this affordable housing project in Central Long Beach

In March 2023, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors gave a major funding boost to the project by allocating $1 million in supplemental funding when it was nearly half-finished. Terms of the supplemental funding from the County, which added to the $5M already allocated toward the project at the time, required the developer to cater toward low-income tenants.

The name of the project, once its focus became providing housing for those experiencing homeless, is derived from the length of a marathon. Or, as Maltzan put it, “the old adage that life is a journey, sometimes with daunting obstacles.”

“Even though homeless people live out in the public realm, right on the streets,” said Maltzan, “it can be a profoundly isolating experience.” 

It’s design did not come without its troubles: Abandoned oil wells were discovered on site—and with a requirement to keep them accessible outdoor for the future, the ground-floor plan changed. The key modification? Splitting a large community room into a smaller indoor space-slash-open-air patio.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The green is pretty ugly.
    When are they going to take down all the fencing.
    Hope the residents are safe and get the leg up they need.

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