A 73-unit affordable housing project could be coming to the Bryant neighborhood in East Long Beach, as the city is in talks with Linc Housing to develop the site that was previously a county mental health center for youth.

The Long Beach Community Investment Company voted Wednesday to extend an exclusive negotiating window with Linc Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, to acquire the property at 4151 E. Fountain St. The property is located in a cul-de-sac just east of Bryant Elementary School.

Linc originally proposed two housing scenarios, one that would have created 85 units for senior residents, and another that would provide fewer units that are larger and more suited for families. Given the site’s location near an elementary school, Linc is moving forward with the family-centered design, which would provide a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units as well as one manager unit.

Suny Lay Chang, Linc’s president and chief operating officer, said in an email that there is a great need for affordable housing in the city and this project could address a major gap for both families and those with disabilities.

“We know families thrive when they live in stable, affordable housing near good schools, grocery stores, parks and public transportation,” Chang said in a statement. “This housing aligns with Linc’s mission to build communities and strengthen neighborhoods for people underserved by the marketplace.”

A quarter of the units would be reserved for tenants with special needs. The units would be rented to people earning between 30% and 70% of the area’s median income, which is about $35,750 to $83,416 for a family of four.

The existing building would be demolished to make way for the new housing units, and Fountain Street would be connected to Wehrle Court, according to conceptual drawings submitted to the city.

Other amenities expected to be included in the project are vegetable gardens, patios and play areas for children.

While the project site was not included in the city’s Housing Element, a document where the city outlined where future development could happen, it is near several parcels that were. The state pushed cities including Long Beach to identify more parcels in “high resource” areas with access to parks, good schools and other amenities.

Long Beach has a goal of creating over 26,500 new housing units by 2029, and almost 11,200 of those units are supposed to be built for low- and very-low-income households.

It’s not a certainty, though, that the project will be built. Linc is still trying to secure funding for the project as well as tax credits that could help with the cost of construction.

Linc is applying for a $22 million loan from the state, and if it’s awarded, it would then apply for the tax credits in 2024. A Linc spokesperson said that if all the funding is secured, construction could begin in early 2025 with an expected completion date of mid-2026.

The purchase price of the land from the city has not been determined, but it could be set at the site’s appraised value. The commission is expected to vote on an agreement sometime in 2024 if funding is secured by Linc to move forward with the project.

Linc already has three properties in Long Beach, including a 40-unit supportive housing project “Bloom at Magnolia and Spark at Midtown, a 95-unit affordable housing development in Central Long Beach.

It’s also proposed to transform the Seventh Street Armory building in Downtown into a 64-unit affordable housing site for seniors.

7th Street Armory housing project could now become affordable senior units

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