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Residential housing construction ranges in size, affordability around SD County

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A wide variety of residential projects are being built across San Diego County, from a boutique nine-unit building to a 250-unit affordable living tower and a 100-unit complex with ocean views.

Celadon at 9th & Broadway

Celadon at 9th & Broadway, the largest affordable-housing complex downtown, is in its final stretch, said Aruna Doddapeneni, senior project manager with Bridge Housing, a nonprofit developer, owner and manager of affordable housing.

Construction should be complete at the end of February, with move-ins for the 250 units slated to begin in late March.

Studios and one-bedrooms will be available for households with incomes from 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income, and will be suited for individuals or small families.

The new Celadon affordable-housing complex rises up from Ninth Avenue and Broadway in downtown. Residents can expect to start moving in next month. Photo courtesy of Bridge Housing

During the initial two-week application window at the end of January, Bridge received more than 600 applications, Doddapeneni said. That high response is driven by the type of units and the project’s location. Once the applications are sorted and eligibility is verified, a lottery process will sort the potential residents.

Eighty-eight of the apartments are targeted to be supportive housing, including 25 units for youth aging out of foster care and adults under the Mental Health Services Act program, and 45 units are targeted for people in transitional housing.

The San Francisco-headquartered nonprofit replied to a San Diego RFP in 2006. Bridge Housing was awarded the project in 2009 and construction began February 2013.

A 17-story high-rise, Celadon, will be just blocks from a major trolley stop and Horton Plaza. The building will have common outdoor patios on the fifth and 15th floors, offering gardens and terraces. Doddapeneni said that they hope that the combination of small living spaces and outdoor spaces encourages residents to enjoy the San Diego climate. The interior has a contemporary-modern design, she said.

The project will be minimum LEED Silver certified. Celadon will also host the tallest solar system in the country, Doddapeneni said. Adroit Solar Energy Engineering installed a 143-foot-tall solar photovoltaic system as a vertical façade on the south side of the building. Adroit also installed a solar hot water system above the roof that is expected to offset half of the building’s hot water needs.

The architects of the project were Studio E Architects for design and MVE-Institutional, Inc. as the architect of record. The general contractor was Turner Construction/Highland Partnership.

Doddapeneni said this is the first project in California to use a financing strategy with both the more-competitive 9 percent and 4 percent low-income housing tax credits. The building was constructed as two separate projects to qualify -- for floors 1 to 7, and floors 8 to 17.

Financial partners included US Bank (NYSE: USB), US Bank CDC, city of San Diego, California Department of Housing and Community Development, CALHFA/County of San Diego BHS and the San Diego Housing Commission.

Mitra Lofts

Travel a few blocks southeast in the East Village, and what will be the future site of Mitra Lofts by boutique firm Nakhshab Development + Design is still a vacant lot, but construction should begin with six to eight weeks, said CEO Soheil Nakhshab.

“It’ll tailor to a multigenerational concept,” Nakhshab said about the five-story project on 15th Street between J and K streets.

The nine-unit project will also have a family feel -- in part because Nakhshab expects it to house his family, parents and brother’s family, as well as his business.

Nakhshab Development + Design is about to break ground on Mitra Lofts in the East Village on 15th Street, a complex that will have free high-speed Internet, electric vehicle stations and a bike-sharing program. Image courtesy Nakhshab Development + Design

“A lot of these new buildings, specifically in East Village, they are five story, nothing special, just a big box -- there’s really no sense of community or neighborhood,” Nakhshab said. “We thought we’d try something more boutique and a little more compact. I see a lot of volume of projects going up in downtown that aren’t creating the culture and community we need to keep it thriving and make San Diego a world-class city.”

The Mitra Lofts will offer a two-story loft, a three-bedroom penthouse and single-story flats. Rents may range from around $1,800 for the smaller units to $5,000-plus for the penthouse.

Nakhshab aims to have innovative features incorporated into his projects, such as free high-speed Internet through Webpass. Mitra will also include electric vehicle stations and bike-sharing programs.

Sustainability is important to NDD, and Nakhshab plans to build Mitra with LEED status and include solar panels that should offset electricity costs for tenants. The lofts will be designed with ample natural light and open space to create a feeling of energy in the units.

A more than 2,000-square-foot roof deck will be accessible to all residents.

NDD, a six-person firm, does the architecture, construction, marketing and property management.

Construction should run about 10 to 12 months, allowing for the first move-ins in mid-2016 at the latest. A waiting list will be available, but leasing won’t occur until construction is complete because Nakhshab wants tenants to see the project at its finest.

Ocean Air

To the north, about three-quarters of MBK Homes’ nearly completed project, Ocean Air, has been leased, said Craig Jones, vice president of apartment acquisitions at MBK Rental Living.

The 100-unit apartment complex near Torrey Pines consists of five three-story buildings of two units on a 4.6-acre lot that was previously undeveloped above Vista Sorrento Parkway. There are one-, two- and three-bedroom townhomes, ranging from 1,067 to 1,630 square feet with one- and two-car attached garages.

Over in Torrey Pines, MBK Homes’ new townhome community, Ocean Air, will be completed this month. Photo by ARON Photography/Courtesy of MBK Homes

Seventy of the 100 units are leased and construction will be completed this month.

“Residents love the spacious and luxurious floor plans, and two-car garages,” Jones said. “Our intimate size, limited to 100 units, ocean views and convenient location are all selling points.”

Units are designed to have open-concept living areas built with for-sale quality finishes and amenities such as accent walls, two-tone paint schemes, upgraded stainless-steel appliances, 9-foot ceilings, wood-style flooring, granite countertops in kitchens, stone slab Piedrafina countertops in baths and modern Shaker-style cabinetry. Units will also have energy-efficient washers and dryers, tankless water heaters and USB charging outlet in kitchens.

Common areas of Ocean Air include an outdoor kitchen and fire pit, community barbecues and a pet wash station.

Construction on a 1-acre city public park is underway, and will feature a walking trail, a children's playground and exercise facilities.

Alliance Residential is managing the complex. Summa Architecture designed the housing project and Gillespie Moody Patterson Inc. designed the landscape.

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