SWA Group to Redesign 1700-Home Sunnydale Public Housing Community

SWA Group begins designs for transformation of 1700-unit Sunnydale public affordable housing; NorthMarq's $19M refinance allows return of capital; and Akridge gets approval for Virginia mixed-use redevelopment.

San Francisco—SWA Group has begun schematic design for the community and landscape plan for Sunnydale, San Francisco’s largest public affordable housing site. The 50-acre, 785-unit site is currently home to 1,700 people. The new master plan consists of 785 units of replacement housing, plus an additional 900 units of tax-credit affordable and market-rate units. Sunnydale’s transformation is part of HOPE SF, an initiative that seeks to revamp eight of San Francisco’s most distressed public housing sites.

“The transformation planned for Sunnydale is truly remarkable,” says SWA principal Rene Bihan. “The goal is not just reversing a troubled neighborhood, but to make it a model sustainable community that most any part of San Francisco would wish to replicate.”

Sunnydale is a joint effort of the City of San Francisco, San Francisco Housing Authority, developers Mercy Housing and The Related Companies of California, with a myriad of funding including US HUD. SWA is working with master plan architect Van Meter Williams Pollack and small-business contractor Merill Morris Landscape Architects.

By re-siting buildings and streets, SWA’s plan will create 6.4 acres of park-space, including an organic farm for growing garden-to-table produce. New street design includes an underground rainwater cistern to irrigate the parks, garden and landscaping. The Sunnydale Hope SF master plan is anticipated to qualify for LEED-ND designation.

NorthMarq funds $19M refi that allows substantial return of capital

Rochester, N.Y.–Michael Elmore, senior vice president and managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Los Angeles Regional office, and Sam Berns, senior vice president and managing director of NorthMarq Capital’s Upstate New York Regional office, arranged a $19 million first-mortgage financing for Greenleaf Meadows Apartments.

Financing was based on a 10-year term and a 30-year amortization schedule, and was arranged for the borrower by NorthMarq through its seller-servicer relationship with Freddie Mac. The property is a 572-unit multifamily complex located at 500 Greenleaf Road in Rochester, N.Y.

Elmore states, “Freddie Mac converted a maturing portfolio loan to a new 10-year CME loan and provided a substantial return of capital to the borrower. Despite the significant increase in the loan amount, the borrower’s annual debt service was little changed due to the excellent execution by Freddie Mac.”

Akridge gets approval for mixed-use redevelopment project

Falls Church, Va.—The Falls Church Planning Commission and City Council have approved Akridge’s proposed mixed-use redevelopment project, The Falls Church Gateway. The project is located near the East Falls Church metro station and will consist of a 200-unit multifamily and an 83,000-square-foot office building.

Akridge worked with area residents and City officials to gain the zoning plans needed to redevelop the property located at 500 North Washington Street. The plan advances the establishment of the East Falls Church submarket as a mixed-used destination.

“Gaining approval for Falls Church Gateway has been an inclusive process,” says Michael G. Gill, Akridge Vice President of Development. “With the support and input of the Falls Church community, we have been able to improve upon our original vision and plans. The project’s attractive Class A office and residential options with convenient access to Metro and local amenities will be great additions to this corridor.”

The Falls Church Gateway development has been recognized by the Smart Growth Alliance and will be LEED certified.