Puerto Rico Mixed-Income Community Breaks Ground

Construction has begun on the Jose Gautier Benitez development in Caguas, a 438-unit residential development on the site of a former housing project.
Rendering of Jose Gautier Benitez. Image courtesy of Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón

Development firm McCormack Baron Salazar has broken ground on a 438-unit mixed-income housing community in Caguas, Puerto Rico. The Jose Gautier Benitez development is a 21-acre development that will rise on the site of a former housing project.

Architecture firm Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón is serving as the architect and interior designer of the project, which will spread across six residential blocks, five of which will be designated for family housing and one of which will be exclusively for senior housing.

The family housing units will be a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments, while the five-story senior housing facility will offer 200 beds. Amenities at the development will include resident lounges, community rooms, fitness room and game rooms. In addition to the new housing units, the development will feature new landscaping, street lighting, parking, walkways, playgrounds and community gardens.

Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón designed the project to be energy efficient and resilient, with features like stormproof windows, environmentally conscious building materials, energy efficient appliances, photovoltaic panels, emergency power generation and universal design.

After Hurricanes Maria and Irma left Puerto Rico devastated and without power for six months in 2017, rebuilding efforts are still ongoing nearly two years later. The island’s public housing authority has been eager to use solar energy as part of the revitalization efforts and recently launched a pilot program.