Blue Hibiscus Welcomes Detroit Bungalow Residents Home

Illustration of Blue Hibiscus (KFA architects; Photo Courtesy of jimsimmonsphotography.com)

The West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation has announced the opening of Blue Hibiscus, a new affordable apartment community on Detroit Street for low-income households.

The 22-unit Blue Hibiscus replaces the Detroit Bungalows, an eight-unit, 1920s-era building with 22 units of affordable housing. It was designed by KFA architects and built by Dreyfuss Construction. An announcement of the opening notes that Blue Hibiscus is designated for special needs households and includes five apartments for formerly homeless youth. WHCHC has partnered with the Los Angeles LGBT Center and other social service agencies to provide supportive services and programs. There are on-site resident services coordinators to meet with residents to assess their needs, provide referrals to care and encourage participation in programs that promote healthy and independent living.

Construction of Blue Hibiscus initially was controversial. Opposition to the project, led by Dr. Pamela Love, a resident of the Detroit Bungalows, said that the elderly and disabled residents of the bungalows shouldn’t be forced to move for construction of a new building. Three outspoken opponents of the project, Cathy Blaivas, Stephanie Harker and Michael Wojtkielewicz, eventually supported it because WHCHC guaranteed that the Detroit Bungalow residents could become residents of Blue Hibiscus.

In its announcement, WHCHC said “Every apartment is designed to be functional and practical for people both with and without mobility impairments. The building is expecting LEED for Homes Platinum certification. Each apartment contains energy-efficient appliances, an eat-in kitchen and private balcony. Blue Hibiscus features a spacious roof deck, a container garden area, a fully furnished community room with kitchenette, a fitness room, a laundry room, two resident services offices and a resident manager’s office. “

“Blue Hibiscus has been a major blessing for me. I struggled when I was living on the streets and feared that I had no chance of finding my way,” said new resident Darryl Greene. “Now I am at ease. I don’t have to worry anymore. I know that WHCHC has provided me with a permanent home and supportive services to help give me the opportunity to live and be happy again. For that I am truly grateful!”

“This is the reason we do what we do,” said Jesse Slansky, WHCHC president and CEO. “A home is the foundation for someone’s life. We are inspired by the stories of our new residents and are thrilled to be able to provide them with the stability of a beautiful environment where they will be able to truly age-in-place.”

Blue Hibiscus funders include the City of West Hollywood, the County of Los Angeles, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee and Union Bank.

West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation (WHCHC) is a non-profit community housing development organization. WHCHC currently houses over 800 low-income residents in 18 affordable apartment communities, 15 in the City of West Hollywood, one in the City of Glendale and two in Los Angeles. WHCHC has a development pipeline of five projects in pre-development and construction.


13 Comments
  1. This would be a fair example of “Exemplary Design”, modern grounded in traditional, with a reference to Spanish Colonial Revival and hospitable rather than fortress like curb appeal. It puts the recent adjacent developments on Santa Monica Blvd. to shame. If only the Planning Commissioners could understand this relationship.

  2. Very nice looking building. There can be squares with character qualities & features. It’s called design

  3. So great to this beautiful project finished and operating.

    The WHCHC is to be commended for their patience and commitment throughout the negativity and resistance they faced when this project was originally announced. Now the West Hollywood Community Housing Corporation is again doing what they do best, providing much needed modern and sustainable affordable housing and services…..Bravo!

    1. I hope you never have to face losing your “home”…..the fuss the residents and community made eventually guaranteed a place for the Detroit bungalow residents should they choose to move back.

      1. I hope you don’t either, thank you. But you are incorrect in saying that the “fuss” guaranteed a return of the Detroit bungalow residents if they chose to move back. Those residents were always guaranteed a unit in the Blue Hibiscus if that’s what they wanted. In fact, it was a requirement from the beginning.

        1. Manny, Actually you are not correct about this. Perhaps you do not recall the actual language that was stated by WHCHC regarding the “guarantee” that ALL residents would be coming back to the new building. In fact, what was stated in writing by WHCHC BEFORE the community got involved was that, “all residents who were ELIGIBLE could come back. After the community outcry that language was changed to “ALL” could come back. (and by the way of the original 11 residents of the Detroit Bungalows I do not believe many would have been considered eligible)…. That is indeed the facts.

          1. Cathy, it’s semantics. Always has been.

            I’m just happy WHCHC got it done. Let’s celebrate this achievement together.

          2. Manny, yes it is to be celebrated for sure. BUT, it is only semantics IF you are not one of the people who might have ended up not being able to move back into the new building , if one was NOT eligible for the Blue Hibiscus funded housing. That is indeed a fact.

      2. This is an outstanding project that accomplished the goals of WHCHC for the residents of the Detroit Bungalows and a high degree of architectural design integrity. The fuss in the neighborhood was overly straining and unnecessary. Folks didn’t take the time to get the correct information or were unnecessarily cynical about the potential outcome.
        Best to learn the facts before arming the verbal militia.

      1. How many of them? The headline makes it sound like all of them but the article doesn’t say anything about them

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