CHW to Break Ground on Green Affordable Housing Community in Vista, Calif.

Community HousingWorks will hold a ground breaking ceremony to kick off construction on its latest development, North Santa Fe Apartments.
Rendering final

Final Rendering of North Santa Fe Apartments. The Community HousingWorks community was designed by San Diego-based Rodriguez Associates Architects & Planners Inc.

Vista, Calif.—Community HousingWorks (CHW), a San Diego-based non-for-profit real estate developer, owner of affordable housing communities, and outreach organization, will hold a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off construction on its latest development, North Santa Fe Apartments on April 23 at the development’s site in Vista, Calif.

The transit-oriented community, which is scheduled to be complete by late summer of 2015, will be located at 301 North Santa Fe Avenue and will add 68 new much-needed affordable housing units to the North County area. Ten of those units will be exclusively designated for homeless Transition Age Youth (TAY) who will be aging out of the state care system.

“Vacancies in San Diego County are low and rents are rising, so these homes are very important for Vista and San Diego North County,” CHW’s Anne Wilson, senior vice president, housing and real estate development, tells MHN.

Land for the project was donated by the City of Vista and the nearby City of Carlsbad provided $371,000 in Community Development Block Grants. Additional financing came via construction and permanent loans, and Low Income housing Tax Credit Equity provided by Union Bank.

“Union Bank has been fabulous to work with,” Wilson says. “This is the seventh project we have worked with them on.”

Wilson also says that the City of Vista was very cooperative in expediting the process of getting the development off the ground.

“The City moved very fast from issuance of [request for proposal] to developer agreement, to entitlements, to building permits,” she says. “The cooperation demonstrated a real commitment both to be responsive to small business and to support affordable housing. Time is money.”

The three-story North Santa Fe Apartments will feature a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plan options, with about 30 percent of the units offered in the three-bedroom size. The amenities package will be highlighted by a state-of-the-art single-story community building that will include space for CHW services, computer learning centers and community space. Additional amenities include landscaped common areas, a Tot Lot, picnic tables with barbecue areas, seating areas, bike racks and a community garden.

CHW is targeting Build it Green’s GreenPoint Rated certification in efforts to make North Santa Fe Apartments more sustainable. The design of the community will include “green” and recycled building materials and, from an energy efficiency standpoint, will perform 25 percent above California Energy Code Title 24 standards. The community will include Energy Star-rated appliances, high efficiency fixtures, cool roofs and upgraded insulation. Landscaping will include drought-tolerant and native species to reduce irrigation demands.

“We do what we think is good for the property and the residents,” Wilson says, referring to the plans for green construction.

The site’s location boasts a Walk Score of 72 due to its proximity to dining, shopping and entertainment. Additionally, the North Santa Fe Transit Station is located across from the development and is served by the Sprinter light rail train, which provides service to Oceanside, Calif. to the west and inland to Escondido, Calif. The Breeze Bus also stops at the transit station and provides connecting service to Amtrak, Metrolink and Coaster in Oceanside, where residents can extend their commutes to San Diego or Los Angeles, as well as California State University San Marcos or Mira Costa Community College.

Vista-based Sun Country Builders was tapped as the general contractor for the project and the community was designed by San Diego-based Rodriguez Associates Architects & Planners Inc. Engineering services are being provided by Excel Engineering.