By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Claremont, Calif.–The terms affordable seniors housing and workforce housing are common in the multifamily industry, but intergenerational affordable housing is a somewhat new designation, and Jamboree Housing Corp. is ready to kick off construction of its first such project. In a public-private partnership with the City of Claremont in Southern California, Jamboree has just broken ground on Courier Place Apartment Homes, which will be a 75-unit, unified apartment community for low-income seniors and working families.
Courier Place will sit on a 3.4-acre parcel that had been home to the Claremont Courier Newspaper within the city’s Village Expansion area, a new shopping and entertainment district that took the place of an industrial tract. The garden-style complex will feature a three-story building containing 38 one-bedroom units for seniors 62 years and older, and two three-story buildings encompassing an aggregate 36 two- and three-bedroom residences for families earning 30 to 50 percent of the Area Median Income. There will also be a unit to house the onsite property manager. Amenities at the nearly $21.4 million property will include a 3,000 square-foot recreation center containing a multipurpose room, kitchen and computer room.
“There are separate spaces for each group as well as common areas,” Michael Massie, Jamboree’s Housing Development Manager, tells MHN. “We’ll have seniors integrated with the families, but given the particular needs of both, they’ll each have designated facilities. We will encourage both groups to interact, but this is not a utopia so seniors will have a place of solace to get away from the activity. We worked closely with our architect on the concept and it has been really exciting.” William Hezmalhalch Architects Inc. is behind the property’s design.
Courier Place will be a novelty not only because it will be an intergenerational affordable housing community, but also because it will be a green intergenerational affordable housing community. The site is located just south of the Claremont Transportation Center, less than a quarter-mile from downtown Claremont and the Claremont Colleges and within walking distance of a park, retail shops, schools and community services. Additionally, Courier Place is being designed to achieve the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum certification, the organization’s highest sustainability designation and one that is not commonly seen at affordable housing developments.
The evolution of intergenerational multifamily housing appears to be a sign of the times. “We think it is such a unique niche, particularly given the changing demographics with the aging of the baby-boomer population,” Massie says. “And it’s a reflection of a cultural change as well. More and more, traditional families have the concept of a larger family beyond the nuclear family. Intergenerational housing brings multiple generations together at one place.”
Claremont, he adds, is the perfect location for Jamboree’s first intergenerational affordable housing development. “The City of Claremont is such an interesting and diverse place; you have the colleges, but you also have an active seniors population.”
The city is also home to some very supportive officials who have wholeheartedly backed the project from the beginning. “We could not have done this without our partnership with the City. Elected officials and staff really made it possible. You can’t get a development done without a strong commitment across the board, and that was the case in Claremont.
The City of Claremont contributed approximately $4.9 million for Courier Place, which also benefited from $2.75 million in funding from the County of Los Angeles. U.S. Bank also provided $13 million for construction, and the WNC & Associates investment firm supplied $13.3 in investor equity.
Advent Companies is onboard the project as general contractor and is on schedule to complete construction of Courier Place in March 2012.