A project that would have turned the Seventh Street Armory site in Downtown Long Beach into a 64-unit affordable housing site with a performing arts space is being abandoned, as a new developer seeking to build the site into a senior housing facility is taking over the development.

Linc Housing, a Long Beach-based nonprofit that specializes in affordable housing developments, is taking over the project after the City Council approved the transition Tuesday night. Its proposal is for the Armory to be turned into affordable senior living units.

A representative from Linc Housing said that the number of units has not changed, just that the nonprofit is going to pursue federal tax credits for affordable senior housing, something that the region is in need of.

The application for tax credits to help finance construction is due this month, and Linc could know as soon as July if it received the credits needed for the Armory site.

The project has changed over time since the city began negotiations to sell the site to developers in early 2021. The original proposal was for 86 total units, with 40 of those units being set aside for lower-income households and the rest being market rate.

That proposal came from a group that included St. Anthony’s High School, Howard CDM and Pacific6, the parent company of the Long Beach Post. The plan included a proposed adaptive reuse of the historic armory building and an art-focused facility that could be used by St. Anthony’s and the public.

The project was downsized to a 64-unit project, with all 64 units designated as affordable. The city agreed to sell the site for $5.1 million in December 2021.

Linc Housing’s pivot to make the project a senior affordable housing project is expected to make it more competitive for the tax credits needed to develop the site, according to a city memo.

Linc already has three properties in Long Beach including the 40-unit supportive housing project “Bloom at Magnolia” and the Spark at Midtown, a 95-unit affordable housing community that opened in July 2021 in Central Long Beach.

The Armory building is eligible to be listed in the National Registry of Historic Places because of its ties to World War II. The building was completed in 1930 and was one of 10 built by the California National Guard.

It served as the home to battalion and artillery units as well as an anti-aircraft regiment in the build-up to World War II. The National Guard relocated to a different site in Los Alamitos in 2018.

Editor’s note: Pacific6 is the parent company of the Long Beach Post. Read more about the Post’s ownership and ethics policy here.

City Council approves agreement to sell Downtown Long Beach armory building for $5.1 million

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.