Looking Back on 2020

As we reflect back on a challenging 2020, we’d like to recount a sampling of the Century team’s proudest achievements. These accomplishments reflect the best of Century’s values, advancing our mission of making homes the cornerstone of a thriving and just society.

  • Century celebrates 25 years of service with two $25,000 donations to charter schools that we established and helped operate. Both schools are located in Inglewood and serve low income, minority communities. Find out more at https://century.org/25th/
  • Century closed loans totaling approximately $209M, which will create and preserve 4,544 affordable homes for families, seniors, and veterans at a average affordability of 46.5% of AMI and will help create more than 4,400 construction jobs. We continue to be the highest volume CDFI lender to affordable and workforce housing in the State.
  • Our remarkable Century Villages at Cabrillo staff responded rapidly to the pandemic to provide supportive services, community engagement activities, and property management services, addressing the acute needs of their vulnerable population. This included the coordination and deployment of COVID resources for residents including masks, COVID testing, food vouchers, Internet access, and more, resulting in one of the lowest infection rates compared to similar shared living areas.
  • Century was assigned a ‘AA’ Rating with a stable outlook by Fitch Ratings, one of the major nationally recognized financial rating organization. This rating joins our current S&P Global’s AA- rating and makes Century the first CDFI to be rated by both Fitch and S&P.
  • Century issued $85 million in ESG municipal CUSIP bonds to advance our mission throughout the state of California, becoming the first CDFI to come to market with a municipal bond CUSIP. The third-party opinion by Sustainalytics attests to both the environmental and social benefits that will be created by the homes made possible by these bonds.
  • Our Long Beach development, The Beacon, received numerous prestigious awards, including SCANPH Development of the Year, AIA-LA Residential Architecture Award, PCBC Gold Nugget Grand Award, and Multi-Housing News Excellence Award.
  • In July, a required VA public hearing took place, which cleared the path for development activities at the West LA VA campus. Century and partners Thomas Safran & Associates (TSA) and U.S.VETS continued advocacy for the West LA Campus Improvements Act, which was introduced to Congress by Senator Feinstein in the fall. TSA broke ground on Building 207 and the Dry Utility Trunkline. Visit wlavc.org to learn more.
  • Century and partners, HACLA, Richman Group, and National CORE submitted the One San Pedro Transformation Plan to This plan was the result of extensive hands-on community outreach, planning and design work, and due diligence and assessment activities. It will pave the way for future development activities, including up to 1,400 homes, parks and open space, and commercial and supportive service space. Find out more at www.onesanpedro.org


ALA’s Janet L. Witkins Center Breaks Ground

Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky joined a long roster of city officials to celebrate the ground breaking of The Janet L. Witkins Center in the heart of West Hollywood on March 15, 2013. Named after the founder of Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA), an organization dedicated to senior housing and also this project’s developer, the center will be the nation’s first sustainably and universally designed home for vulnerable seniors.

Century’s $850,000 acquisition and predevelopment loan helped finance the 17 unit project targeting seniors with incomes at or below 30% of the area median income.

Hooray! For A Groundbreaking In Hollywood!

Los Angeles City Councilor Eric Garcetti joined Mark Walther and Frank Fonseca, principals of developer American Communities and Century CEO Ron Griffith helped to celebrate the groundbreaking for The Gordon, our eighth partnership of Century and AC.  Joining them were other key partners in the development – Rushmore Cervantes of the Los Angeles Housing Department; Richard Prantis of PSL Architects; Maria Maynard of Bank of America; and Mark Rasmussen of  CCRC. The Gordon’s 21 apartments for very low income families will be completed, with LEED Gold certification, and open to residents in the fall of 2013.

Read more

Groundbreaking for The Serrano

Rending by PSL Architects

American Communities broke ground on May 1st for The Serrano, a 44 apartment development for low-income families in Koreatown. Century provided a $1.9 million land acquisition loan to American Communities in December.  This will be the seventh development that Century has financed for American Communities, and the fourth in Koreatown, joining Harvard HeightsThe Hobart, and The Ardmore. Construction will be completed in the fall of 2013, and will be certified LEED Silver. Congratulations to American Communities and PSL Architects!


Affordable Apartments on the Westside?

Del Rey Groundbreaking

Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, and Century Housing staff joined developer Tom Safran to celebrate the groundbreaking for Del Rey Square Senior Housing on July 14, where 124 low-income senior citizens will soon be living later next year. Del Rey Square is the first affordable apartment development on the Westside to go up in more than ten years, providing high-quality housing options for a very needy population. The project will improve a vacant lot on Culver Blvd, which has been empty for many years.

The 124-apartment project is a joint venture of Thomas Safran & Associates and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, where HACLA will manage 30 of the apartments and rent them to public housing tenants, and TSA will manage the remaining 94 apartments, as well as providing quality-of-life programs for the residents. Century’s CEO, Ron Griffith, was excited to see that Thomas Safran is continuing to bring their high standard of development to West Los Angeles: “The Westside is in desperate need of affordable senior apartments, and Century is pleased to be a part of this effort,” said Mr. Griffith.

Century’s provided the initial financing with a $9,475,500 land acquisition loan in January 2009, funded through the New Generation Fund, to get the project rolling less than three years ago, and Del Rey Square will open its doors to local seniors in Winter 2012.

Related Links:

The Argonaut (http://www.argonautnewspaper.com/articles/2011/07/22/news_-_features/del_rey/d1.txt)

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (http://www.hacla.org/en/rel/912/

Photo Credit: Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles

A Smashing Good Time with Tom Safran

Dennis Zine Ron Griffith Canby Woods
Century President Ron Griffith with LA City Councilman Dennis Zine

In a twist on the traditional turn-a-shovel-of-dirt groundbreaking ceremony, on July 28th affordable housing developer Tom Safran invited friends and supporters to help tear down the improvements on the site of the future Canby Woods Senior Apartments in Reseda.  He even supplied the sledghammers, work glove, hard hats, and eye protection, and Caterpillar 973C. Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine and Century President & CEO Ron Griffith put on their hardhats and got right to work, punching holes in walls and tearing down the roof.

Councilman Zine complimented Mr. Safran for working to revitalize Reseda by redeveloping the blighted property, replacing it with high-quality affordable senior apartments.

Century provided a $3.8 million acquisition loan for the property in 2008, allowing Thomas Safran & Assoc. to begin the process of securing development financing from CRA/LA, LAHD, Wells Fargo Bank, CCRC, and National Equity Fund. Century and TSA have worked together for more than 10 years, starting with Skyline Village, and we have invested more than $30 million in seven developments that have created almost 600 affordable apartments for families and seniors, including the 98 to be built at Canby Woods.

Boyle Hotel Renovation

Boyle Hotel Before RenovationEast Los Angeles Community Corporation held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $24.6 million renovation of the historic Boyle Hotel on December 9th. Also known as the Mariachi Hotel for its role in housing mariachi players and their families, the Boyle Hotel is adjacent to the famous Mariachi Plaza and the new Eastside Gold Line station. Built in 1899, the historic hotel will be redeveloped into 20 affordable apartments, with an additional 31 apartments and parking built immediately to the east of the Hotel along 1st Street. The reborn Boyle Hotel will also provide new commercial space to add to the burgeoning Arts District along First Street, as noted by Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar in his remarks at the groundbreaking.

Century provided ELACC with more than $4.4 million to purchase the hotel and adjacent properties in 2006 and 2007 when another developer had planned to acquire and demolish the historic building. The Boyle Hotel is a gateway to the Boyle Heights community and a symbol of the impact of Mexican immigrants. This development will balance the Boyle Heights neighborhood’s need for new affordable homes and commercial development with the need to respect and preserve its history.