For most of its more than 30 years of existence, the Martischang tower at 5800 W. Alameda Ave. sat empty, staring over an asphalt landscape that passed it by.
So there was a big crowd on the afternoon of April 27 when Metro West Housing Solutions hosted a kind of goodbye celebration to the building’s current state. Because this is the point work begins in earnest in creating the organization’s latest housing project, Fifty Eight Hundred.
The $34 million affordable housing development will see the creation of 54 family apartments at the already existing tower and 98 more in a separate four-story building. The project will feature seven studios, 46 one-bedroom rooms, 78 two-bedroom rooms, and 21 three-bedroom rooms.
“Over the years, this building has seen many iterations,” said George Valuck, chair of Metro West’s board. “Now it’s going to be serving people who desperately need affordable housing.”
All the apartments in Fifty Eight Hundred will be affordable, with no market-rate units. Rent will be between 30 to 60 percent of area median income.
“There’s been so many changes over the years, but the finished project is going to be a beautiful amenity for the community,” Valuck added. “Housing for everyone.”
The “(un) groundbreaking” ceremony featured a few speakers, many thanks, and the opportunity for many take one last look at the interior of the Martischang of the building before renovations begin.
Metro West’s executive director and CEO Tami Fischer called Fifty Eight Hundred one of the most challenging projects the company had taken on, but one that would be “a great economic boon for Lakewood, and will catalyze a great energy here.”
“It took a special group of folks to do a project like this. The need for affordable housing is greater than it’s ever been, and the projects Metro West do help people attain sufficiency,” said Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul, who attended the event. “They’re going to take this sea of asphalt and concrete and do something beautiful.”