Jamboree Celebrates 50th Affordable Property

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorIrvine, Calif.–Jamboree Housing’s 50th affordable property, Granite Court, is all set to open this month. The green apartment community is located in Irvine’s mixed-use neighborhood known as the Irvine Business Complex.With Granite Court, Jamboree’s portfolio is now valued at $2.08 billion including nearly 6,000 homes for approximately 15,000 residents. “Despite…

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorIrvine, Calif.–Jamboree Housing’s 50th affordable property, Granite Court, is all set to open this month. The green apartment community is located in Irvine’s mixed-use neighborhood known as the Irvine Business Complex.With Granite Court, Jamboree’s portfolio is now valued at $2.08 billion including nearly 6,000 homes for approximately 15,000 residents. “Despite the economic downturn in real estate, the increased demand for more affordable housing – Granite Court’s waiting list nearly topped 4,000 names during construction – and the fierce competition for shrinking public funds, Jamboree continues to build and grow,” John Okura, senior project manager at Jamboree Housing, tells MHN.Total construction costs of the project are estimated to be $32,565,000. “At the time of closing in June 2007, the meltdown in the capital markets had not occurred; therefore, getting financing for this project was not difficult,” adds Okura. Granite Court is a 71-unit green, compact-design community in the heart of the IBC – a live/work environment with compact-design housing adjacent to office and retail space. It features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments designed around a central courtyard, with a tot lot, barbecues and outdoor fireplace. The property is the IBC’s latest development for working families who earn between $19,530 and $69,180 (30 percent to 60 percent of area median income). For example, a family of four earning $46,500 (50 percent of the area median income) pays about $1,208 in monthly rent for their three-bedroom home. The IBC spans more than 2,670 acres and represents an economic center of more than 83,000 jobs. To address mobility, the City introduced the IBC “I” Shuttle that complements regional bus services and provides direct express transportation to and from the nearby Tustin Metrolink Station, John Wayne Airport and throughout the IBC at minimal cost to residents.The City of Irvine’s Housing Element indicates the city is a jobs-rich community overall, with an estimated 2.9 jobs per housing unit. Thousands of residents from other communities commute there for work, impacting traffic congestion, air quality problems and other issues.“This is one of the first projects in the IBC to take the city’s vision of a major job center with residential living opportunities, and make it a reality impacting the jobs/housing balance. In the longer term the City Planning process envisioned a walkable community integrating job opportunities, with nearby housing and retail amenities. Granite is one of the first to embrace that vision,” says Okura.One-third of Granite Court’s residents were already living in Irvine and approximately 22 percent are now able to live and work within the city. In the long-term, increasing the choices, programs and services available to low-income families has, and will continue to have, a positive impact on the economic development of the neighborhood, according to him.  In 2006, Jamboree was awarded more than $6.3 million in Proposition 46 funding for Granite Court from the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). Proposition 46 is the $2.1 billion housing bond approved by California voters in 2002. Proposition 46 funds are awarded twice annually to entities that are construction- and compliance-ready to build workforce housing; special preference is given to those building affordable housing for large families. With sustainable development as a priority, Granite Court is designed with a photovoltaic system that powers common areas, earth-friendly and renewable materials in both common areas and resident units, and Energy Star appliances in every home.

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