Ground has been broken on the nation's first for-sale workforce housing project financed entirely by institutional capital.Located near the Avenue 26 Gold Line metro station in Los Angeles' Lincoln Heights neighborhood, the 165-unit Avenue 26 Condominiums will range in price from $210,000 to $375,000, a range considered "affordable" by California's lofty standards. The 700- to 1,800-square-foot apartments will be marketed first to people earning 80%-200% of the area's median income, or from $50,000 to $110,000 a year. The property is being financed by the Genesis Workforce Housing Fund, a $100 million fund managed by the Los Angeles-based Phoenix Realty Group. Phoenix is dedicated to the creation and management of smart-growth equity funds that make socially responsible investments linking housing and commercial development to employment centers. "We have created a vehicle for banks, insurers, and pension funds to make investments that will help fill a void in the housing market," chief operating officer Jay Stark said. The Avenue 26 property is the first of six projects capitalized so far under the fund to reach the ground-breaking stage.

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