Construction is set to begin soon on an affordable housing project meant to double the number of residents in the city of Vernon, and following recommendations by residents and city staff, the project now has a name.
The new, 45-unit gated community will be called “Vernon Village Park.” A city ad hoc subcommittee selected the name from a list proposed by sixth grade students at Vernon Elementary School.
Vernon Village Park will be built on 2 acres on 52nd Drive, along the city’s southeast border with Maywood. Construction is expected to get under way next month.
The city last year selected Meta Housing Corporation to build and operate the apartment complex. The city agreed to lease the property to the developer for $1 a year for 65 years, but reserved the right to name the housing development.
Vernon Elementary students were asked to come up with names for the project, and last month the city council narrowed their suggestions down to “Vernon Pueblo Del Rio”, “Vernon Pueblo Del Rio Gardens”, “Vernon Villas”, “Vernon Village Apartments” and “Vernon Houses.” The city then conducted an online poll of the names; 42% of the 147 votes cast favored “Vernon Villas,” but the ad hoc subcommittee, made up of Mayor W. Michael McCormick and Councilman Michael Ybarra, decided to go with the community’s second choice, “Vernon Village Apartments” to avoid confusion with another apartment complex with the same name west of the city on Vernon Avenue.
They decided to change “apartments” to “park,” believing it better reflected the essence of the new development, according to a city staff report.
Increasing the city’s housing stock is one of several good-government reforms Vernon is taking in the wake of efforts to disincorporate the city in 2011 amid corruption accusations. With about 100 residents and only 42 ballots cast in the last election, Vernon was accused of not having enough voters to function as an independent electorate. The new housing is expected to double the number of residents and in turn voters, according to city staff.
Vernon Village Park will be made up of 9 one-bedroom apartment units, 22 two-bedroom units and 14 three-bedroom units. The gated community will include a community building, an office for property managers and social service providers, a laundry room, computer lab, tot lot and onsite parking.
City staff estimate the project will be completed in 2015.