LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A former blighted freight rail yard along the Los Angeles River has been completely transformed into an affordable housing complex just three miles from downtown Los Angeles.

More than 4,000 applicants are vying for 155 units in Taylor Yard Transit Village, an affordable housing community along the L.A. River in Cypress Park.

Veronica Carrera’s family was one of those selected.

Speaking in Spanish, Carrera told CBS2/KCAL9’s Louisa Hodge she was excited that her two daughters and son would finally have their own bedrooms and that she would have a washer and dryer.

The ceremony Thursday marked the grand opening for these affordable apartments along with a groundbreaking for the next phase: the Rio Vista Apartments, which, when completed in the summer of 2016, will provide 108 affordable 1 and 2 bedroom apartments reserved for senior citizens ages 62 and older.

“Senior housing is unique, because as we see folks getting older, it’s always a challenge for them to meet their economic needs for housing and provide a safe environment for equality housing integrated into the neighborhood so they don’t have to leave their neighborhoods,” said Daniel Falcon, spokesperson for McCormack Baron Salazar, the developer behind the project.

It’s all part of a plan to utilize open space on Metro-owned land to create a walkable, mixed-income and safe neighborhood for all ages.

Taylor Yard Transit Village was also designed to be eco-friendly.

“We’re collecting storm water, so any rain water when it does come to L.A. will be collected on site,” Falcon said. “Nothing will leave the site, it will all go back into the ground and recharge our underground water as well as the L.A. River.”

In addition to being the first large scale river-front development to be developed along the River’s edge, the site is bordered by the recently-completed Río de Los Angeles State Park, a 40-acre regional park that includes both active and passive recreational uses for the community, according to developers.

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