Last summer we explored the beginning stages of renovation and development reshaping Venice's sprawling garden community, the Lincoln Place Apartments. As it hurries towards completion, we're taking another look at the progress of this historic site, built in 1951, that preserves one of the largest lasting examples of architecture inspired by the garden city movement. Along with a new wave of shops and restaurants opening up just a few blocks away on Lincoln Blvd., this area of Venice is undergoing rapid development and was named one of the top 5 neighborhoods to watch in 2014 by Time Out Los Angeles.
A quick loop through the neighborhood provides respite from busy Lincoln Blvd. and a trip down memory lane. The owners are reviving its mid-century modern character coupled with the latest conveniences and twenty-first century amenities. A new building that will soon house the leasing office at the California Street entrance boasts a retro facade and sign that announces the 795-unit community’s adherence to a 1950s clean, sharp design. The original, refurbished units near Frederick Street were the first to be renovated so that the owners could move home after a decade-long battle to preserve Lincoln Place and prevent a once-approved condo construction project. The units have been fully restored and finished with manicured lawns punctuated by decades-old trees, as well as newly planted shrubs, picnic areas, barbecues, and bike parking zones.
Lincoln Place harkens back to the garden city movement of the twentieth century, characterized by green space between low-profile buildings, built-in walkability amidst large-scale development, and geometric, uncluttered architectural style that allows for some design individuality from building to building. Slim walkways, lined with well-behaved shrubs, meander through the clusters of units cast in hues of light blue and pale yellow. Neighbors enjoying their half-enclosed patios can easily chat with neighbors strolling by, but it also wouldn't be considered rude if they keep to themselves; spacing between these units has that goldilocks quality of being just right for privacy that's not isolating.
General Manager Stephanie Pelletier says that of the 795 units that will eventually be renovated, 245 are now occupied. As soon as they're available for occupancy, they're leased. Units receive a full overhaul, complete with central air and heat, and additional bathrooms in some. Each comes equipped with amenities including washer and dryer, built-in-wall fiber optic cable and new kitchen appliances. Construction is also in the works for a new salt-water pool and fitness center due this summer. The kiosk in the leasing office gives a virtual tour to visitors. It shows an airy gym opening up to an outdoor yoga deck and pool deck more akin to a fancy hotel than some of the stuffy gyms at other apartments. There's also ample walking and lounging areas throughout the complex. See the renderings below for the pool, gym and the grassy green cul-de-sac at Elk Grove.
Sustainable features added to the new development include drought-resistant plants, St. Augustine grass (also pet-friendly), LED lighting outside, energy efficient indoor lighting, and the preservation of gravel-lined roofs. The complex will also offer an impressive 61 electric vehicle-charging stations upon completion of the property’s renovation.
Pelletier notes that prospective tenants appreciate the historic and sometimes quirky character of the place, but they also want the modern conveniences and are surprised by the use of square footage to make the units seem large and open. That, combined with access to patios and views of green space from many windows in the house, achieves a relaxed and beachy quality that is quintessentially Venice. One touch on the area’s regional history is the use of orange trees in the landscaping of the community. Attention to this type of detail demonstrates a sort of unconventionality that may catch the attention of someone looking for a special place to settle.
“Venice is different than Marina del Rey and Santa Monica," says Pelletier. "It has an independent and creative vibe.” But they're also trying to establish a strong sense of community among its residents and within Venice. Move-in packets advertise local businesses, and occasional events bring neighbors together to meet and greet. Neighbors and their guests are invited to a Spring Kick Off Party on the evening of Thursday, April 24th, with burger bar and drinks catered by local restaurants.
Current prices for Lincoln Place Apartments:
1-bedroom: $2550 - $3625 based on location and amenities
2-bedrooms: $2499 - 3975 based on location and amenities
2-bedroom bungalows (share one wall with neighbor): $3799
3-bedrooms: will be available upon completion of renovation
Lincoln Place Apartments // 1012 Frederick Street, Venice, 90291