SAN DIEGO, CA – May 2, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — Downtown San Diego’s East Village neighborhood soon will see 201 new units of affordable rental housing in Alpha Square, to be built and leased out with assistance from the San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC) as part of a transit-oriented, mixed-use development.
The $47.6 million public-private development had its ceremonial groundbreaking today. The six-story structure at Market Street and 14th Avenue, with retail space at the street level, is scheduled for completion in September 2015. Alpha Square is co-developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation and Alpha Project for the Homeless (Alpha Project).
Alpha Square apartments, to be operated by Alpha Project will remain affordable to low- and very low-income renters for 55 years.
SDHC is awarding a total of 76 federal Project-Based Housing Vouchers for Alpha Square to support formerly homeless San Diegans. These vouchers will enable tenants to pay roughly 28.5 percent of their monthly income toward rent, and have an estimated annual value of $756,048
SDHC President & CEO Richard C. Gentry and San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria said Alpha Square is a significant tool in a collaborative effort to end homelessness in San Diego.
“Not only is Alpha Square going to be a facility that will serve some of the families and individuals most in need in this community, but it will be an integral part of the redevelopment of East Village,” Gentry said as heavy equipment was being heard from another construction site nearby.
Additionally, to assist with construction financing for Alpha Square, SDHC also authorized the issuance of more than $6.2 million in multifamily housing revenue bonds, administered by the state. The San Diego City Council, sitting as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, approved the bonds.
Council President Gloria called Alpha Square “a building block of an overall plan that we have for ending homelessness in our city.”
“The way that we do it is by building housing units like the ones that will be here at Alpha Square,” Gloria said
Alpha Square will serve as a replacement for Hotel Metro, a nearby single-room occupancy hotel in two buildings also owned and operated by Alpha Project as transitional housing for homeless individuals. Hotel Metro will be demolished after Alpha Square is completed.
Robert McElroy, president and CEO of Alpha Project, said Hotel Metro occupants who move to Alpha Square will enjoy a significant step up. Hotel Metro rooms are approximately 100 square feet with no kitchens and shared bathrooms and shower rooms on each floor. Alpha Square units will average 260 square feet and all will have a full bathroom, cooktop and air conditioning.
“It’s a tremendous blessing for our folks,” McElroy said. “It’s going to be a tremendous blessing for this community also.”
The site is two blocks from the San Diego Trolley’s Park & Market station and five blocks from San Diego’s new downtown Central Library.
It will have more than 5,400 square feet of retail space at street level. Residents will have more than 4,000 square feet of common space indoors and 6,600 square feet of common space outdoors. The building will have 32 underground parking spaces.
Alpha Square is being developed under two legally separate entities – one of 150 units (including two manager units), the other 53 units – to take advantage of different financing mechanisms and tax credits. All of the units are restricted to renters with incomes ranging from 30 percent of the San Diego Area Media Income (currently $16,600 for a one-person household) to 50 percent AMI ($27,650).
Proposed tenant rents range from $423 to $706 monthly depending on income and which tax credit applies to the unit.
Other development partners are the City of San Diego, Civic San Diego, Pacific Southwest Development Corp. and US Bancorp Community Development Corporation.
For more information about SDHC programs, visit www.sdhc.org
Media Contact: Maria Velasquez, Vice President
Community Relations & Communications