Community and Economic Development

Monday, May 9, 2005

CONTACT:   Eric Symons
(619) 533-5318

Tim Graham
(619) 533-5130

City Redevelopment Agency Supports City Heights Mixed-Use Projects, Including Affordable Senior Housing
Projects to provide 150 affordable housing units, office and retail space, medical clinic and park

SAN DIEGO - The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency announced this week that it has approved agreements with developers to carry out a master plan development in City Heights that will create 150 affordable housing units for very low- to low- income seniors, office and retail space, a medical clinic and a pocket park in the City Heights Redevelopment Project Area.

Dubbed City Heights Square, this innovative master plan redevelopment project, which is comprised of four distinct but complementary components, will bring much needed resources to the community of City Heights. Combined, the developments represent an investment of more than $71 million to further revitalize this urban core neighborhood. The redevelopment projects are also considered a complementary phase of the award-winning City Heights Urban Village.

The mixed-use projects cover a City block footprint of 2.7 acres and are bounded by Polk Avenue, 43rd Street, University Avenue and Fairmount Avenue. The projects will include 150-units of affordable senior housing, 90,000 square feet of retail and office space comprised of 23,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, three levels of offices, classrooms and meeting space. Additionally, the master plan includes 31,000 square feet of mixed-use space which will be used as an out-patient clinic, 5,348 square feet dedicated for a pocket park between the developments and underground and surface parking for residents, tenants and clients.

"We're very pleased to be working with our development partners to create more affordable housing and additional community resources in City Heights," said Councilmember Toni Atkins, whose Third District includes City Heights. "I am committed to support quality mixed-use redevelopment projects like these, which enhance the neighborhood, increase the housing supply and contribute to the ongoing revitalization efforts in this diverse neighborhood."

A collaboration between San Diego Revitalization Corporation, Chelsea Services Corporation, Senior Community Centers of San Diego and La Maestra Family Clinics will develop the master planned block. The City's Redevelopment Agency will provide support through land acquisition and project subsidies. The projects include:

  • City Heights Square Senior Housing Project: The $27.1 million City Heights Senior Housing project, developed by City Heights Square, L.P. which consists of Chelsea Services Corporation and Senior Community Services of San Diego, will create 71 studio apartments and 79 one-bedroom units for seniors age 62 and older. The units will range in price from $319 to $486 for a studio apartment and $360 and $550 for a one-bedroom unit for qualifying seniors. One additional unit will be for an on-site manager. The project targets "fragile seniors" - those who are very low- to low- income making between 30% - 45% of the Area Median Income (AMI). In addition to the housing, the project will provide support services to the residents which will include one meal a day, on-site clinical services, physical and mental health education and counseling, health monitoring, physician referrals, mental illness and substance abuse intervention, entitlement and legal programs. Additional support services will be provided by a full-time service coordinator, a part-time mental health worker and a part-time registered nurse located on-site.

    More than $7.1 million in affordable housing subsidies for the project will be provided by the Redevelopment Agency Affordable Housing Program, which is a collaboration of the City's Redevelopment Agency (comprised of the City Redevelopment Division, Centre City Development Corporation and the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation) and the San Diego Housing Commission. Redevelopment funds for this housing development were generated from Downtown's Centre City Redevelopment Project Area. Additional funding includes anticipated low income tax credit proceeds and financing from private lenders. Groundbreaking for the redevelopment project is anticipated in early 2006.

  • City Heights Square Office and Retail Project: The $32.2 million mixed-use City Heights Square Office and Retail Project is being developed by San Diego Revitalization Corporation (SDRC). Bounded by Fairmount Avenue and University Avenue, the development will become a 90,000 square-foot, four story building. The building will face University Avenue with the first floor dedicated to retail and commercial uses and the office use for the upper three floors. Design features will include small scale retail shops fronting University Avenue, a decorative tower located on the top of the building at the corner of University and Fairmount Avenues, a vine covered trellis structure facing 43rd Street and 267 surface and underground parking spaces. The Redevelopment Agency will provide a net subsidy of approximately $2.15 million for the project. The development is expected to generate $190,000 in annual Redevelopment tax revenue, which can be used to support future City Heights improvements. Groundbreaking is anticipated by early 2007.

  • City Heights Square Park: A 5,348 square foot pocket park will be located between the office/retail building and the senior housing development on 43rd Street. The land is currently owned by SDRC and it will be acquired by the Redevelopment Agency and conveyed to the City of San Diego. The acquisition costs will be shared proportionately by the Redevelopment Agency, the senior housing project and La Maestra. Detailed design for the park has not yet been undertaken and is expected to take place in collaboration with the local Recreation Council, City Heights Area Planning Committee and City Heights Redevelopment Project Area Committee. The Park improvements will occur following completion of construction of the underground parking for the master plan developments.

  • City Heights Square Medical Clinic/Office/Retail Project: An additional 31,000 square foot mixed-use building is being developed by La Maestra Family Clinics to include a medical clinic, office and retail space. This proposed $12 million development is expected to proceed without direct Redevelopment Agency assistance. However, annual Redevelopment tax revenue will be generated from the development and will be used to support future redevelopment opportunities in City Heights.

"The partnerships created to carry out these redevelopment projects is to be commended," said Hank Cunningham, assistant executive director of the City's Redevelopment Agency and director of the City's Community and Economic Development Department. "By working collaboratively, we have enhanced the services and amenities available to City Heights residents and for seniors in desperate need of affordable housing."

For information on the development of the affordable housing units at City Heights Square, contact Mary Mazyck of Senior Community Centers at (619) 235-6572, extension 317.

For more information about available affordable housing units citywide, contact the San Diego Housing Commission at (619) 231-9400 or visit www.sdhc.net. Comprehensive affordable housing information, including policies, initiatives and a wide array of programs, is also available on the City of San Diego's Web site at www.sandiego.gov/housing.

For more information about the City Heights Redevelopment Project Area, contact Bob Kennedy, Redevelopment Project Manager at (619) 533-4276 or rhkennedey@sandiego.gov, or contact the Redevelopment Agency, Community and Economic Development Department at (619) 533-4233 or visit the City's web site at www.sandiego.gov/redevelopment-agency.

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The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency eliminates blight from designated areas, as well as achieves the goals of development, reconstruction and rehabilitation of residential, commercial, industrial, and retail districts. Redevelopment is one of the most effective ways to breathe new life into deteriorated areas plagued by social, physical, environmental or economic conditions that act as a barrier to new investment by private enterprise. The City of San Diego Redevelopment Agency consists of three divisions: the City Redevelopment Division (which provides overall agency management and is housed in the City of San Diego Community and Economic Development Department), the Centre City Development Corporation and the Southeastern Economic Development Corporation.
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