Taxpayer-funded new hi-rise for homeless features gym, cafe — and apts. with skyline views

A fancy, new, taxpayer-funded hi-rise homeless shelter featuring apartments with skyline views, a gym and cafe is set to open in Los Angeles — looking more like a hipster haven than public housing.

The 19-story tower — whose 228 studios and 50 one-bedroom apartments cost about $600,000 a pop to build — is located in the heart of the city’s Skid Row and part of a three-building project to provide shelter and support for homeless adults, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The $165 million complex boasts amenities galore, including the gym complete with treadmills, rowers, bikes and a cable machine — as well as a communal patio area for residents to congregate, an art room, a soundproof music room, a computer room, a library and the cafe.

“We’re trying to make our little corner of the world look and feel a little better,” said Kevin Murray, president and chief executive of the Weingart Center Association, the nonprofit behind the project, to the paper.

The rooms for the homeless in the spanking-new building are sparse modern and clean. David Buchan/New York Post
The kitchens all have a microwave, oven and cabinets. David Buchan/New York Post
The nonprofit behind the project is hoping to get people off the streets of Skid Row, one of LA’s most notorious neighborhoods. David Buchan/New York Post

For the homeless lucky enough to score a room in the tower, feeling a little better won’t be hard.

The tower’s furnished rooms also are modern and clean, featuring a single bed, a microwave, oven, fridge and television.

On its website, Weingart crows that the South Crocker Street building — called Tower 1 — offers “high-quality apartment living in downtown Los Angeles.”

The project is being funded by financing from Proposition HHH, a supportive-housing program approved by city voters in 2016, according to the Los Angeles Housing Department.

It’s also buoyed by state housing funds, as well as $56 million in state tax credits, the Times said.

The apartments feature gleaming hardwood floors. David Buchan/New York Post
Common areas include balconies and dog runs. David Buchan/New York Post
Common areas will allow people to congregate in the evenings. David Buchan/New York Post
The tower features both studios and one-bedroom apartments. David Buchan/New York Post

“Residents of Weingart Tower 1 will benefit from Weingart Center’s on-site comprehensive support services,” the nonprofit said. “These services are specially developed to help maintain housing stability and attend to residents’ health and wellness requirements.”

About 40 units are reserved for veterans who qualify, Weingart added.

The tower — which is meant to be a self-contained environment that will shield its formerly homeless denizens — is the first of three such high-rises planned for the area around the nonprofit’s headquarters, the LA Times said.

The still-under-construction second tower will have 302 rooms, the outlet said. The third tower, a 104-unit building, is still in the planning phase.

The outdoor areas include shared spaces. David Buchan/New York Post

When the first tower opens, it will be the biggest permanent supportive-housing project in the city, the Times said.

“We aren’t in it for the developer fee, so we said let’s just build the biggest thing we can,” Murray told the paper. “You just can’t fix the problem at 50 units a pop.”

The apartments cost around $600,000 per unit to build. David Buchan/New York Post
This is the exterior of the new tower. David Buchan/New York Post
The building will also feature a cafe on its first floor. David Buchan/New York Post
The cafe will offer residents a place to relax. David Buchan/New York Post

Still, the kinds of amenities the building offers aren’t common in the normally bare-bones shelters the homeless might be used to.

When the trio of buildings is finally done, it will create a campus that allows its 700 residents to escape the nefarious influences that lurk on Skid Row — a notorious haven for the homeless and destitute.

Several advocates and community leaders commended the project, the paper said.

“We 100% need more housing in Skid Row,” said Pete White, executive director of the Skid Row advocacy group Los Angeles Community Action Network, to the newspaper.

“I see the tower as providing a great need, a great housing need in Skid Row and a design that says poor residents are worthy.”

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