New Green Affordable Housing

The town of San Luis Obispo recently celebrated the grand opening of a new affordable housing complex known as The Village at Broad Street Family Apartments.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Writer

San Luis Obispo, Calif.—On Feb. 13, the town of San Luis Obispo celebrated the grand opening of a new affordable housing complex located at 2240 Emily St., known as The Village at Broad Street Family Apartments.

The project is a collaboration between the city and ROEM Development Corporation and offers 42 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that are affordable to families with annual incomes ranging from 30 percent to 60 percent of the San Luis Obispo County Area Median Income.

“Because of the high cost of housing in our area and relatively low median income, it is often very difficult for people who work here to find housing they can afford nearby,” San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx tells MHN. “The city is proud to have partnered with ROEM Enterprises and grateful to them for devoting their energy and resources in this community.”

The development consists of three stories with surface parking for residents and is located approximately three-quarters of a mile south of San Luis Obispo’s downtown core. There is also approximately 7,200 square feet of ground floor retail.

“The Village at Broad Street strives to implement resident services that help to create a safe, comfortable, informative and enjoyable environment for our residents,” ROEM Development Corporation Vice President Jonathan Emami says. “The resident services staff works closely with the onsite management staff to create programs responsive to resident preferences and issues.”

According to the National Association of Home Builders, San Luis Obispo County was the least affordable small housing market in the United States for eight of the 12 quarters between 2008 through 2010.

“When families do not have access to a safe and stable living environment, it puts those families at risk for homelessness and increased health risks, particularly for children. It also impacts the educational achievements of the children and the stability of the area’s workforce,” Emami says. “ROEM Affordable Housing offers amenities that address those concerns.”

Project amenities at the Village at Broad Street include a community room with kitchen and library, a computer center, a fitness room and an outdoor playground. It also offers a wide array of on-site resident services, including computer classes, ESL classes and resident events.

“This development significantly improves the neighborhood, especially since it is located on land that was, for years and years, a parking lot for garbage trucks,” Marx says. “It serves as an anchor for the Broad Street Corridor Specific Plan, which is designed to bring more mixed use commercial and housing to the historic Italian section of town.”

Of the 7,200 square feet of leasable space, ROEM has so far signed two leases—a hair salon and a nail and foot salon, with tenant improvements expected to begin soon and store openings projected at the end of March.

“We are actively marketing the remaining spaces and can accommodate tenants from approximately 1,000 square feet to 3,500 square feet,” Emani says.

The Village at Broad Street was designed by architectural firm KTGY Group Inc., which took its architectural cues from the eclectic nearby downtown streets lined with brick retail facades and canvas awnings.

“The Village at Broad Street provides much needed high quality affordable housing in San Luis Obispo, just blocks from the city’s popular downtown area with access to the amenities that make this city so special,” KTGY Group Inc. principal Keith Labus, tells MHN. “It transformed an underutilized infill site into a high-density residential development with convenient access to retail services.”

The project was financed with 9 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits purchased via syndication by Alliant Capital to Met Life Insurance. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) made additional funding for the project possible.

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