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Work is wrapping up on Exchange, the first component of the $110 million Gateway project that is being developed by the City of El Monte, Grapevine Advisors and Jamboree Housing.

Exchange, which was designed by Santa Ana-based SVA Architects, consists of 132 affordable housing units, outdoor recreational amenities and a one-level underground parking garage.  Plans call for a mixture of one, two- and three-bedroom apartments reserved for households earning 30-55% of the area median income. 

The four-story building is the first component of a larger mixed-use development on a roughly six-acre site adjacent to the bustling El Monte Bus Station.  Later phases will create an additional 345 market rate housing units and 25,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.  The development will also include a public park, large public spaces and connections to existing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

The project, which was funded in part by state grant money, is the result of decade-long efforts by El Monte to build a residential-retail development on approximately 14 acres of land adjacent to the bus station.  An earlier proposal for the property, which called for a more ambitious $1-billion complex, resulted in members of a former development partner being accused of misappropriating public funds.

Completion of Exchange is on pace for later this year, slightly behind its previously announced schedule.