AMCAL Newsletter

June 2009 AMCAL Times Volume 6 No.2

Villa Serena grand opening

LOS ANGELES – Villa Serena, AMCAL’s first development, in the County of Los Angeles jurisdiction opened in June. The 85-unit affordable apartment on a 1.7-acre site in unincorporated area of eastern Los Angeles is reserved for families that earn 30-60% AMI.

The development won a “Building in America” award and was included in Construction Services’ West Coast edition.

The 85 units make Villa Serena one of the largest affordable housing developments in unincorporated Los Angeles County in recent years. The Regional Planning Commission approved it in 2006 as one of the County’s first affordable developments to use an extra density bonus and other incentives.

The design includes 2 courtyards with play areas for toddlers and youths, a community room, and secure parking for 119 vehicles.

Nearby amenities include Obregon Park, MTA and Sol shuttle bus lines, the Queens Care health clinic, and Belvedere Middle School. Two new Metro Gold Line stations will be within 1 mile.

The county’s Community Development Commission provided $5,539,000 in gap funding. 4% tax credit equity of $11,928,000 is provided by SunAmerica Affordable Housing Partners. A Bonds are $4,693,000. U.S. Bank permanent loan is $4,692,000. State MHP is $6,021,000. AHP is $416,000.

Non-profit partner is W.O.R.K.S. (Los Angeles) and Executive Director Channa Grace. Architect is FSY Architects (Los Angeles). Property Manager is FPI Management (Folsom).

Villa Serena serves its local residents – 22 households previously resided in the 90063 zip code. Project Manager is Colleen Edwards. Construction Manager is Gerry Huerta. Site Superintendent is Jim Ballard. Asst. Superintendents are Octavio Ramirez and Rafael Serrano. Villa Serena was 100% leased by May. Don Brenon is Asset Manager.

Brookfield Place grand opening

OAKLAND – AMCAL completed its first project in the Bay Area in April, “Brookfield Place. The mixed-use development includes 58 family apartments and 2,440 s.f. of ground-floor retail on 1.6 acres. Alameda County funded 5 much-needed units for tenants with developmental disabilities, which is the first time AMCAL used this public source.

The design includes a courtyard with play area, community room, and 69 surface spaces. Nearby amenities include Jenkins Park, an AC Transit bus line, Thomas Medical Clinic, Brookfield Library and Brookfield School. 9% tax credit equity of $7,724,000 is provided by Hudson Housing Capital. U.S. Bank provided construction loan of $7,966,000. CCRC provided permanent loan of $4,593,000. State AHP is $242,000.

Non-profit partner is Foundation for Affordable Housing (San Juan Capistrano). Architect is R.L. Davidson (Fresno). Property Manager is FPI Management (Folsom). Brookfield serves its local residents – 11 households previously resided in the 94603 zip code.

Project Manager is Matt Segerdal. Construction Manager is Candice Nesbit. Site Superintendents are Ben Medina and Craig LaFleur.

Brookfield will be 100% leased by July. Don Brenon is Asset Manager.

Media coverage: Newspapers, magazines, online

American Executive (Oct. 1): President Percival Vaz was interviewed for the “Corporate Spotlight.” He explained how AMCAL must educate communities on the benefits that affordable housing brings to their neighborhoods. The federal tax-credit program creates public-private partnerships that allow better affordable products to be developed today than in years past under the old HUD Section 8 format. Markets to pursue in future years are housing for the growing senior population and those who enjoy
urban living and the savings it can create for residents.

Developer (Winter): AMCAL Vice President of Acquisition Sid Paul was interviewed for the Q&A section on “What’s the best way to encourage developers to build workforce housing?” His response: “Minimize the risk to the developer in the form of financial programs which assist in land acquisition in return for building affordable housing; by-right approvals for projects which propose affordable housing; and down payment or mortgage assistance programs for affordable homebuyers.


Company News

AGOURA HILLS – President Percival Vaz welcomes new employee Dearld Chaffin, a Senior Purchasing Manager in the Construction Dept. Colleen Edwards (Finance Dept.) passed certification for LEED in June and is qualified as an Accredited Professional for sustainable design.

Panels and Conferences

MONTEREY - Sid Paul and Mark Morgan of the Acquisition Dept. attended the state CRA Expo on Apr. 2. LOS ANGELES – Sid Paul hosted a tour of the Puerta del Sol mixed-use development located at the Avenue 26/ Cypress Park Gold Line Station in Lincoln Heights for the Southern California Leadership Network on June 19.

CA Real Estate Journal

AMCAL was listed as the #7 leading commercial developer in state in the May 26 edition of the California Real Estate Journal. AMCAL has 890,000 sf of residential under construction and has completed 3,200,000 sf. Total value is $484,000,000 of 29 completed developments.

Housing affordability

The City of Los Angeles authorized a study for a mixed income ordinance that would require affordable units in all developments of 20-50+ units. A typical L.A. County family must spend 48% of income to afford a median-priced home. The historic figure has been 35% of income. The Chapman Univ. study explained that prices must decline further to reach affordability. For affordability to return, current prices must decline 20% more. The Los Angeles-Long Beach- Glendale area was the nation’s least-affordable major metropolitan market for the 12th consecutive quarter. In Los Angeles County, a decent one-bedroom apartment rents for $1,200. That rent is affordable to someone earning $23.00 per hour or $48,000. Rents may be out of reach for fast food cooks ($17,000), dental assistants ($29,000) and social workers ($38,000). The median home price is $300,000 (as of March). A family needs an annual income of $161,000 to pay the monthly costs of $4,484. Home ownership is out of reach for physical therapists ($73,000), college professors ($86,000) and judges ($113,000).
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