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Chelsea Investment honored as San Diego’s 'Builder of the Year'

Carlsbad-based Chelsea Investment Corp. has been honored as San Diego’s 2015 Builder of the Year by the Building Industry Association of San Diego County (BIA).

Chelsea’s recognition came during the 2015 ICON awards ceremony, an annual event honoring excellence and innovation in the local home-building industry from a field of approximately 250 entries.

"BIA San Diego owes its current high standing in the affordable housing policy arena -- the hottest industry topic in the region -- thanks to the tireless guidance provided by Chelsea Investment Corp. and in particular, by its CEO, Jim Schmid," said Borre Winckel, BIA San Diego CEO, who noted that this is the first time the Builder of the Year award has been presented to a provider of affordable housing.

Schmid, who was elected chairman of the board of directors of the San Diego BIA in 2014, currently presides over what is ranked as the nation’s 16th largest developer of affordable housing. Founded by Schmid in 1984, the firm’s local portfolio includes housing for families with special needs, as well as homes for low-income seniors and the homeless.

Chelsea was also honored for developing San Diego’s Best Affordable Project in 2015, the 203-unit Alpha Square, which will serve homeless and very low income individuals in downtown San Diego’s East Village. Alpha Square will replace Hotel Metro, a nearby single-room occupancy hotel whose current residents will be welcomed to Alpha Square when it opens later this month.

Alpha Square is a $47.6 million transit-oriented, mixed-use development, built with financial assistance from the San Diego Housing Commission and Civic San Diego. Built on a 20,000-square-foot lot, the six-story building includes one level of subterranean parking.

Averaging 260 square feet, all fully furnished studio apartments at Alpha Square will feature a full bathroom, cooktop and air conditioning, plus Internet access, cable television and telephone service for all residents. Building amenities will include a computer lab, multipurpose room, laundry facilities, a community courtyard and a landscaped rooftop deck and terrace. Case management and an array of supportive services will be provided by Alpha Project for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization that also operates the Hotel Metro.

Through vouchers provided by the San Diego Housing Commission, the tenant will pay 30 percent of their income, and the federal government will pay the balance of the monthly rent. Rental assistance will stay with the unit when an occupant moves out.

Schmid added that Alpha Square will remain affordable to very low- and extremely low-income renters for 55 years.

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