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Las Ventanas in Long Beach, CA, strives for LEED Platinum Certification

Las Ventanas Features Affordable Family Apartments, Close Proximity to the Blue Line, and is striving for LEED Platinum Certification

AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc., a national leader in the development of affordable housing, is about to complete construction on Las Ventanas Apartments, an affordable mixed-use housing development near the Blue Line stop on Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach, California, that is striving to be certified as LEED Platinum.

Las Ventanas, located at 1795 Long Beach Blvd., features 102 apartments with 1, 2 and 3-bedrooms affordable to individuals and families earning between 20% to 80% of the area median income (AMI). LA County’s “Homes for Health” program has reserved apartments for 15 special needs homeless households.

Las Ventanas sits on a 1.01–acre site with a four-story building and includes street-level commercial space. The community’s transit-accessible location and infrastructure improvements provide residents access to public transportation, parks, markets, education institutions and retail, which are all located within short distances.

The community is striving for LEED Platinum certification. LEED for Homes is a national, voluntary, rating system administered by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). USGBC is a non-profit that promotes the design and construction of high-performance green buildings and encourages the adoption of sustainable practices. LEED-certified homes are more durable, use less energy and water, and provide improved indoor air quality resulting in reduced utility bills and increased occupant comfort.

For a project to earn LEED for Homes certification, it must meet requirements in eight different environmental qualities: 1) Sustainable sites, 2) Water efficiency, 3) Energy and atmosphere, 4) Materials and resources, 5) Indoor environmental quality, 6) Locations and linkages, 7) Awareness and education, and 8) Innovation in design.

The Las Ventanas community exceeds California’s Energy Efficient Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings which is enhanced by Solar Thermal for Domestic Hot Water, Solar PV and Energy Star lighting and Bathroom fans. Each kitchen is being furnished with a stove-oven and a garbage disposal. To help residents minimize expenses, AMCAL has installed ENERGY STAR® appliances including a refrigerator and a dishwasher. All apartments have a patio or balcony for private outdoor space, storage, and modern amenities for living.

To improve indoor air quality, AMCAL used interior paint with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Apartment interiors include modern vinyl Floor Score® planking and carpeting in bedrooms. AMCAL used the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label low-VOC carpet, pad and adhesive, which help to reduce VOCs and emissions, and contribute to the growing use of recycled content for building materials.

To reduce water usage, xeriscape landscaping with a managed irrigation system was planted, and low-flow water toilets, faucets and showerheads were installed.

For more information on LEED for Homes and the USGBC, see https://www.usgbc.org/.

Some of the green features unique to the community are:

  • 75% of construction waste diverted from landfills
  • 5% of total parking area dedicated to low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles
  • High-efficiency fixtures and ENERGY STAR® appliances
  • High-efficiency irrigation system
  • Low-VOC emitting paints and flooring
  • Low-flow interior water fixtures and toilets

“Las Ventanas’ high quality look and design will contribute to improving the neighborhood and provide much needed affordable family housing to the community,” said Percival Vaz, CEO of AMCAL. “We are excited to unveil Las Ventanas with its many environmentally sustainable features and look forward to its positive contribution to the Long Beach community.”

Leasing information can be found at: https://www.lasventanasapthomes.com/.

See a recent article about Las Ventanas in Affordable Housing Finance Magazine.

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AMCAL affordable housing expert participates on panel

Our President, Arjun Nagarkatti, participated in a developer/owner panel addressing the question: “What is the Outlook for the Affordable Housing Sector in Texas?” hosted by Texas Real Estate Business. The panel (second hour of the webinar) explored expanding markets, affordable housing tax credit coalition and bond cap restraints, collections, reserve requirements and barriers to workforce and affordable housing. You can access the article about it and recording of the session here.

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AMTEX Breaks Ground on Houston Development

AMTEX recently broke ground on Richcrest, an affordable housing development under construction in Houston.

Richcrest Apartments is a 288-unit affordable rental housing community containing a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units for individuals and families. The development will maintain designations for a variety of income levels, targeted to be affordable for families earning between 30% and 60% of the Area Median Income.

Richcrest Apartments will serve families and their needs by providing high-quality, affordable housing with modern amenities and on-site services. All units will offer contemporary living for residents. Amenities will include balconies/patios overlooking the shared outdoor space and modernized kitchens and bathrooms to provide the most comfortable living environment for families.

Here’s a link to the virtual groundbreaking ceremony that took place in September.

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AMCAL Ranks #15 on the List of the Top 50 Developers

AMCAL made the list of the top 50 developers of affordable housing as determined by Affordable Housing Finance (AHF) Magazine, keeping good company with other developers “who kept the shovels turning despite rising development costs and other challenges in 2019,” according to Donna Kimura, Deputy Editor of AHF Magazine. This is the second year in a row that AMCAL ranked #15. See the entire article at this link.

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Las Ventanas Affordable Housing Sprouts at PCH Station

Ten months after breaking ground in Midtown Long Beach, AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc.’s Las Ventanas apartment complex is rising next to Metro’s PCH Station.

Located at the southwest corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway, the four-story building will feature 102 one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments reserved for households earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income.  Additionally, plans call for 15 apartments to be set aside as permanent supportive housing. 

Read the rest of the story.

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AMCAL Completes 69 New Affordable Apartments in Partnership with City of Santa Ana

With $8.5 million in funding from the city of Santa Ana, AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. has completed the construction of First Street Apartments — a 69-unit high-quality affordable apartment community developed in partnership with the City of Santa Ana.

To make this project possible, the Santa Ana City Council approved a loan for $8.5 million in affordable housing funds. Combined with low-income housing tax credits, construction of the project was able to begin in April 2018 with the demolition of an older, deteriorating office building. The project was completed and the new tenants moved in by late last year.

First Street Apartments is part of a revitalization effort to develop residential uses along the First Street corridor — a key gateway for the City of Santa Ana. The development is located at 1440 E. First St., which is adjacent to a public school, a quarter mile from an OCTA bus stop, within a half mile of the Santa Ana Zoo and less than a mile from a Kaiser Permanente hospital.

“The lack of affordable housing is a growing crisis in Orange County and throughout California,” said Councilmember Vicente Sarmiento, who represents Ward 1 where the project is located. “By investing in development that supports the needs of working families, the City of Santa Ana is planning for a future in which everyone has a place to call home.”

The new apartment community was constructed on approximately 2.16 acres and has apartments ranging in size from 782 to 1,219 square feet, with two-, three- and four-bedroom units for larger families, which are rare and needed in Santa Ana. Rents range from $741 for a two-bedroom apartment to $1,984 for a four-bedroom apartment. Half of the units are reserved for extremely low-income households earning 30% of the Area Median Income.

“First Street Apartments will improve the lives of some of the most vulnerable members in our community while revitalizing a major corridor into the city,” Mayor Pro Tem Juan Villegas said.

Councilmember David Penaloza added: “First Street Apartments serves as a testament to Santa Ana’s commitment to provide quality affordable housing for local families.”

Residents in the project were chosen through a lottery process that had over 1,100 applications. The deadline to apply has passed and the building is fully occupied.

“Before living at First Street Apartments, I found myself struggling financially to pay rent,” said Diana Huaynate, 32, who has three sons. “I was living paycheck to paycheck, even sometimes that was not enough.”

Ms. Huaynate, who was born and raised in Sana Ana, said she’s seen the city’s rent prices skyrocket.

“I am happy and blessed to be a resident at First Street Apartments,” she said. “Not only is the rent manageable, but it offered me and my kids a space of our own; the property is so nice, it has its own park, laundry facilities, bike storage for my sons’ bikes, and they offer social services and lots more amenities that you wouldn’t have unless you paid a lot in rent.”

First Street Apartment is unique in that it will serve large families with contemporary living features that include balconies and patios, parking garages, and modern bathrooms and kitchens. The outdoor community features include an open courtyard with seating areas for residents, a barbeque area, a tot lot for children to play and a community garden.

The community consists of six residential buildings and a community laundry facility. Residents have access to a community room and a computer lab that provides space for educational and social services for residents. Social services include adult education and health services such as computer training, job training, English-as-a-second language classes, nutrition programs and parenting classes.

Click here to see more about this project and for a link to the project’s leasing website.

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AMCAL Gets Started on a Veterans Housing Project in Pomona

January 7, 2020 Agoura Hills, CA — AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. announced today that it has closed financing and has started construction on Veterans Park Apartments — a high-quality affordable apartment community being developed in Pomona for veterans.

Veterans Park Apartments is an affordable multi-family apartment complex with modern amenities that will consist of 61 apartments ranging in size from 600 to 1,100 square feet located at 444 W. Commercial Street. Veterans Park will include 25 one-bedroom apartments with one bath, 15 two-bedroom apartments with two baths, and 20 three-bedroom apartments with two baths. One apartment will be reserved as an unrestricted manager’s unit.

Veterans Park Apartments was awarded $1.8 million in annual federal tax credits by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee.

Rents will range from $545 a month for a one-bedroom apartment to $1,519 for a three-bedroom apartment, which are affordable for households earning between 30 and 60 percent of area median income. The community will welcome veterans with Housing Choice Vouchers (HCV) issued from the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (HUD-VASH) program.

Veterans Park is AMCAL’s third apartment community in Pomona. AMCAL previously completed two communities for seniors in Pomona — Serenity Villas in 2002 and Portofino in 2005. Read more about the project here.

See a press release about the project that was published in the Inland Empire Business Journal here.

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AMTEX Starts Construction on Austin Senior Affordable Housing Community

Dallas, TX (December 16, 2019)—AMTEX Multi-Housing, LLC, announced today that it closed financing and started construction on Limestone Ridge Apartments — a multi-family affordable housing community being constructed in Austin at 7011 McKinney Falls Parkway.

When completed, Limestone Ridge Senior Apartments will be a community for 55+ seniors with annual incomes of up to 60% of the area median income (AMI), which in Travis County, is $45,420 for a two-person household. The community will offer 223 one- and two-bedroom units plus two 2-bedroom units allocated for on-site managers. The community will also feature a one-story clubhouse and will have 405 surface parking spaces or 1.8 spaces per unit.

Residents at Limestone Ridge will enjoy onsite amenities including a swimming pool, walking trail and a community garden, as well as close proximity to McKinney Falls State Park.

Social services will be available onsite at no cost to tenants. Examples of services provided at previous AMTEX projects include: a monthly character building program; quarterly financial planning courses; quarterly health nutrition programs; notary public services; twice monthly arts and crafts, and other recreational activities; twice monthly onsite social services events; an annual health fair and annual income tax preparation assistance.

The 225-unit project represents the second partnership between AMTEX and the Travis County Housing Finance Corporation, having previously partnered on McKinney Falls Apartments a 312-unit family apartment community that is in the final stages of construction and is scheduled for completion in April 2020. Construction on Limestone Ridge is expected to be completed in the Fall of 2021, with residents moving in immediately thereafter.

Limestone Ridge Apartments is the tenth affordable housing project for AMTEX Multi-Housing, Inc. in Texas that is either completed or under construction.

 “We appreciate the Travis County Housing Finance Corporation for partnering again with us on this project to bring 225 new apartment homes for seniors to the Austin community,” said Arjun Nagarkatti, President of AMTEX Multi-Housing. “When completed, Limestone Ridge will be a wonderful place for area seniors to call home.”

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Affordable housing complex breaks ground in north Houston

AMTEX broke ground on its second development in Houston on November 14, 2019. AMTEX Green Oaks Affordable Multifamily Housing Development is a 177-Unit Apartment Complex located in Northeast Houston. 

The Green Oaks Apartments Development is designed to close the substantial shortage of affordable housing units in Houston. According to the Houston Housing Authority, “Recent Census data indicates that over 400,000 households in Houston qualify for housing assistance at 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), additionally there are 155,582 families currently living in poverty. More than 200,000 families in Houston pay greater than 30% of their income for housing. The existing housing stock only provides affordable opportunities for 76,725 families in Houston. This sheds light on the extent of the need for affordable housing for all families at all income ranges below 80% of AMI. The Houston Housing Authority aims to increase the number of affordable housing units available for qualified residents within its jurisdiction.”

The City of Houston Housing and Community Development Department awarded AMTEX’s Green Oaks Apartment Development the competitive four percent Housing Tax Credits. The Green Oaks Development received unanimous support from the City of Houston Mayor and City Council, led by City Council District B Council Member Jerry Davis. The project also received overwhelming support from Harris County Commission Precinct One, The Honorable Thompson, TX House of Representatives, Dist. 141, area Neighborhood Home-Owner Associations, Business Chambers and the surrounding northeast Houston community. The Green Oaks Apartment Development is in Northeast Houston on Gears Road, Greens Parkway, and Greensmark Drive, Houston, Harris County, Texas. In addition to providing housing for the target population, AMTEX is committed to providing economic development opportunities for minority and women-owned businesses, HUD Section 3 Businesses, and training and employment opportunities for Section 3 residents.

See this link for an article in the Houston Chronicle about the groundbreaking ceremony for Green Oaks. AMTEX’s other development in Houston is the Villages at Cypress, a 162-unit development for seniors that was completed in 2014.