It took more than 10 years and cost more than $24 million, but the revitalization of the Carmelitos Housing Development in Long Beach--the county's oldest public housing complex--has finally been completed.
Shapell Housing Inc. has put the finishing touches on the $6.5-million final phase of the revitalization program by opening a 155-unit senior citizens complex on the 64-acre site at 1000 Via Wanda.
Carmelitos was built in two phases. The first phase, completed in 1941, contained more than 550 concrete-and-steel apartments, many for servicemen and their families.
A second phase of 130 units was completed in 1943. Those apartments were built of wood and stucco.
The Los Angeles County Housing Authority launched a revitalization program for Carmelitos in 1976. The concrete-and-steel apartments were eventually refurbished, and the wood-and-stucco units were torn down to make room for the senior citizens complex.
Carmelitos now houses nearly 2,000 low-income persons. The project is owned and operated by the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission.