Bay Area Gets 116 Affordable Units

A new $64 million community in Mountain View, Calif., gives preference to low-income families and local workforce.
Located in Mountain View, Calif., Evelyn Family Apartments will employ environmentally sustainable design and construction.

Located in Mountain View, Calif., Evelyn Family Apartments will employ environmentally sustainable design and construction.

Mountain View, Calif. –Just one day after MHN‘s report of ROEM Development Corp.’s delivery of 70 affordable housing units, the California-based developer has announced the introduction of 116 residential units of new affordable housing.

Along with the City of Mountain View, Calif., ROEM celebrated the groundbreaking of Evelyn Family Apartments, which will sit on 1.93 acres and feature studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom layouts.

Evelyn Family Apartments will accommodate families making no more than 60 percent of Santa Clara County’s area median income, which was $93,854 as of 2014, according to U.S. Census data. As reported by The Mercury News, Santa Clara County has the highest median income in the nation and a widening income gap, two facts underscoring the need for affordable housing.

“Evelyn Family Apartments is one of the largest affordable housing projects in the City of Mountain View,” said Mountain View Mayor Pat Showalter in prepared remarks. “Aimed to benefit people who live and work in Mountain View with low incomes, it is a testament to the City’s commitment to seek affordable housing developments, to increase the overall housing diversity and supply and to investing City funds to help make it happen. Thanks to the effectiveness of public and private partnerships like we have with ROEM, we will be able to keep families in Mountain View and help those who grew up here, stay here.”

The amenity-rich apartment community will feature a homework and computer lab, multiple laundry rooms, a fitness center, a communal dining area with kitchenette and a private shuttle to and from local transit options and schools. Residents can also use any of the 116 bicycle parking spaces or the subterranean parking garage. They can also access a bicycle center that will contain a parts shop, washing station and short-term storage. To further encourage environmentally responsible transportation, Evelyn Family Apartments will provide free transit passes for every unit.

“We believe strongly that all affordable housing built by ROEM be transit-oriented,” ROEM EVP Alex Sanchez told MHN. “Given today’s real estate market, ideal affordable housing sites are difficult to find. In Evelyn’s case, the nearest transit station is more than a mile away. This meant our collaboration with Mountain View’s city planners was critical to ensuring that Evelyn residents would still be able to access that transit.”

In addition to being transit-accessible, ROEM insisted on a design employing environmentally sustainable materials and fixtures. To that end, the three- and four-story building will be composed of a protected wood frame over a fire-resistant, noncombustible construction commonly found in high-rise buildings. The interior elements will focus on achieving water and energy efficiency and effective waste management. In pursuit of U.S. Green Building Council LEED-H Gold certification, Evelyn Family Apartments will feature an irrigation system, downspouts, drought-resistant plants, upgraded exterior insulation, high-efficiency ventilation equipment and ENERGY STAR-rated appliances.

Several organizations have joined forces to fund the project, slated for August 2018 completion. Citi Community Capital has committed $32 million in tax-exempt construction financing, while the City of Mountain View has put $22.3 million into the project. AEGON has provided additional financial support. Withee Malcolm Architects LLP is the architect, and ROEM Builders Inc. is the general contractor. Pacific Housing is the nonprofit partner.

Gary Howe, director of AEGON USA Realty Advisors, LLC, voiced his excitement over the collaboration, saying, “This marks AEGON’s eleventh investment with ROEM Development and we are confident Evelyn Family Apartments will be as tremendously successful as the previous ten.”

Image courtesy of A.G. Photography