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.

From the Web

Mixed-Use Development Planned Near Laguna Niguel Metrolink Station

The project is part of the city's Gateway District.

The Laguna Niguel Planning Commission has approved a mixed-use development near the city's Metrolink Station.  The joint venture between Blackwood Real Estate and Walbern, located near the intersection of Crown Valley Parkway and Forbes Road, will consist of 100 two- and three-bedroom apartments in a seven-story building.  Plans also call for 2,700 square feet of ground-floor retail space, as well as a pool courtyard, a fitness center, a private garden, and a sky deck.