Skid Row Rising: New Weingart 19-Story Tower Met with Cheers, Jeers and Fears from Downtown Locals 

Skid Row recently welcomed a new resident: a multi-story tower low income housing development specifically designed to house formally homeless. Special Announcement: The Weingart Tower is now open for leasing.

Located on the corners of 5th and Crocker Streets, the 19-story building designed by Axis/GFA Architecture + Design offers 298 fully-furnished studio apartments and boasts upscale amenities like a gym, soundproofed music room, television lounge, cafe, and an art studio. Residents will also have access to appliance-filled kitchens and wall-mounted televisions in their units.

A chance for a better life – single unit at Weingart Towers – photo courtesy Weingart


The $160-million project, zoned as affordable housing, multi-family residential is part of a three-building initiative by the Weingart Center Association, a non-profit focused on homelessness. This particular building is entirely funded by tax payers and aims to provide not just housing, but also on-site case management and physical and mental health care services to its residents. A combination of services fought for by local residents, councils and committees in city hall meetings for over five decades.

Fitness Room at Weingart Towers – photo courtesy Weingart

However, the project has been met with mixed reactions on social media and within some inner circles. While some residents are excited about the prospect of improved living conditions for the homeless, especially the community of Skid Row who have been long time advocates of permeable housing vs temporary shelters, others like those in the popular DTLA – Town Hall Facebook Group have both cheered and equivocally criticized the perceived lavishness of the amenities, questioning the allocation of funds.

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“How about some affordable housing for the middle-class oh there’s no kickbacks in that arena.” – Leonard Vasquez

“2 days after The Star Center opened in Downtown for the Homeless they were SELLING The Furniture / Brand New Refrigerators / Microwaves and anything else that was furnished to them on the streets around Skid Row…. I saw Pickup trucks leaving The Star Center with the Brand New Refrigerators in them… They drug them right out the front door in front of the Staff and Security…. They didn’t care as long as they got their money for ????” – Robert Norris

Obscure DTLA

”I mean, yeah it’s a large price tag but also so is doing nothing. Which these government funded projects love to do. I’d rather there be a tangible delivery of homes then the costs disappearing from predatory consultants and government agents with no construction to show.” – Brooks Los

“I love the way this is the answer to the problem. Let’s pile them in one building together and see if they get their lives together. Rich politicians are so insanely out of touch with reality it’s no wonder we have become a third world country” – Gary Tamoro

“I just hope they don’t put families or single parents with children in the same housing as the mentally ill or drug alcohol abusers it won’t work separate housing with programs to help individuals with specific needs the only way it will work” – Emily Reyes Ramirez

So don’t do anything if people complain do something and people complain those same people don’t have a meaningful solution to this issue either” – Gilbert Cano

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A room with a view – photo courtesy Weingart

This development comes amidst a larger conversation about homelessness in Los Angeles. The Weingart Center for the Homeless, has a long history of serving the homeless population in Skid Row offering various services including short-term and long-term housing, medical and mental health care, substance abuse recovery programs, and job training.

The Weingart Center Association defends the project, highlighting its focus on “high-quality apartment living” and the additional support services offered with the intent to empower residents and help them achieve stability.

Author: Abel Weiss

Author | Father | Lego Artist | Los Angeles Born & Raised