A rendering of Paseo La Paz | Courtesy a representative of Chelsea Investment Corporation

$43M Affordable Project Breaks Ground

Carrie Rossenfeld Multifamily

San Ysidro, California, will soon have a new affordable-housing community. Chelsea Investment Corporation, the San Diego Housing Commission, and Casa Familiar Construction have broken ground on Paseo La Paz, a 137-unit affordable apartment complex for low-income families in San Diego County’s San Ysidro, a representative of Chelsea reports.

The $43.2 million project, located across the street from the city’s Beyer Street Trolley Station on the Blue Line, is slated to be ready for tenants in late fall 2019, according to a statement from the rep. It will comprise six three-story buildings containing 24 one-bedroom, 586-square-foot apartments; 79 two-bedroom units between 785 square feet and 808 square feet; and 36 three-bedroom, 1,037-square-foot units, the release says

Paseo La Paz is being developed on a previously underdeveloped property located at 160 West Seaward Avenue that is close to schools, a public park, and a community center, and across the street from the Beyer Street Trolley Station.

During Paseo La Paz’s recent groundbreaking ceremony, Councilman David Alvarez is quoted in the release as saying, “This project is going to set the narrative for the future of San Diego.” He adds that infill development next to public transportation in existing communities is “the future of San Diego.”

Also in the release, Chelsea’s founder and CEO Jim Schmid is quoted as saying during the ceremony,
“The border is not a line; it’s a region, and building a project on the border is personal for me.” He says that the first projects his firm built were in Calexico, just across from Mexicali, “and we continue to find these neighborhoods to be full of wonderful people, very family oriented, and enthusiastic about improving their communities.”

Paseo La Paz welcomes families with income of up to 60 percent of the area median income, which is currently at $58,380 per year for a family of four, according to the statement. One-bedroom apartments are expected to rent from approximately $856 per month; two-bedroom units for about $1,020 per month; and three-bedroom units for about $1,117 per month, the release says.

In addition, the source says individual units will include central heating and air, window and floor coverings, patio or balcony, and appliances, and resident amenities will include a 2,000-square-foot community room, computer room, picnic and barbecue area, and laundry room.

Support services are becoming integral to affordable projects, and Paseo La Paz is embracing them. The release says the project will provide a range of comprehensive support services at no cost to its residents due to an affiliation with Casa Familiar; adult services include adult education, financial literacy, and English as a second language, while programs for children include after-school tutoring, art classes, and fitness programs.

The statement also reveals that the project received financial support from The San Diego Housing Commission (SDHC), which provided a $9.25 million loan toward the development, including $2.4 million in HOME funds issued by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and administered by SDHC. SDHC also issued over $28 million in tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds, approved by the San Diego City Council, sitting as the Housing Authority of the City of San Diego, the release says.

Also, the statement says additional financing was provided in part by a $16.6 million construction loan and $11.9 million permanent loan from Citi Community Capital and $13.9 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity from U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corp.

The project architect for Paseo La Paz is Joseph Wong Design Associates, and Emmerson Construction is serving as general contractor, according to the release.

Chelsea has been instrumental in providing a significant number of affordable units in the San Diego market. As SoCal Real Estate reported in April, the firm broke ground this past summer on the largest new affordable housing development in San Diego, a total of 306 units in two buildings situated along Friars Road in the Civita master-planned community in Mission Valley. Teaming up with Sudberry Properties – the master-developer of Civita — the $156.2 million complex will comprise 203 affordable apartments for families at Stylus and 103 affordable apartments for seniors at Siena. And, also in April, Chelsea broke ground on the Schmale Family Senior Residence, a 62-unit affordable apartment complex for low-income seniors at 430 16th Street in Ramona, California; the $21.9 million project is scheduled to open in spring 2019.