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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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Push For Affordable Housing On MTS Land Showing Results

Our Villa Encantada project in San Diego was mentioned in this article about transit-oriented developments.

MTS officials recently authorized negotiations with a development team seeking to build affordable housing on an underutilized trolley station parking lot. If approved, the proposal would more than triple the number of middle-income homes approved in San Diego since 2010.

This comes less than six months after MTS updated its real estate policy to encourage more housing near transit stations—an effort that appears to be showing some results.

The plan for the Palm Avenue station parking lot came from National CORE, a nonprofit affordable housing developer, and Malick Infill, a for-profit firm specializing in transit-oriented development. The team is proposing 150 homes for low-income households and 100 homes for middle-income households, along with retail and commercial space and parking for trolley passengers.

The MTS executive committee voted March 14 to start negotiations with the development team, after a 30-day window in which staff sought competing proposals but received none. The development team declined an interview request while negotiations are ongoing.

Read more by clicking here.

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New York Times mentions AMCAL’s Meridian community in affordable housing article

New York Times reporter Emily Badger featured information in her recent article about the national affordable housing crisis. AMCAL’s Meridian community in Koreatown / Los Angeles received a mention.

SAN FRANCISCO — For $1,200 a month, Patricia Torres and her family were renting a bedroom, a share of time in the bathroom, one vegetable drawer and one shelf in the fridge, and two cupboards over the stove. They rented not so much a home as a fraction of one.

Karen Calderon had even less: a single room in a homeless shelter where she was not allowed so much as a hot plate to cook for her family.

Read the article here.

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AMCAL’s Los Angeles – Florence Project is Featured

In unincorporated Florence, AMCAL Multi-Housing Company has proposed redeveloping a County library as part of a mixed-use affordable housing complex.

The project, slated for a one-acre site at 1600-1616 E. Florence Avenue, would create a five-story building featuring 116 units of senior affordable housing, as well as a replacement library at its ground floor.

VTBS Architects is designing the building, which would rise one block west of the Blue Line’s Florence Station.

The $51-million project is seeking approximately $7 million in County funding.

Read more of the article in Urbanize.la.

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AMCAL Secures #7 Spot on List of Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers of 2017

Rising to the 7th spot in this year’s Top 50 Affordable Housing Developers as ranked by Affordable Housing Finance Magazine, AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. boosts its 47th spot ranking from last year.

Read more here.

It still looks to be a glass-half-empty kind of year for affordable housing developers, writes Deputy Editor Donna Kimura, in her recent article “Cautious Optimism” in the April/May 2018 issue of Affordable Housing Finance magazine. Kimura goes on to write: They anticipate a better but tough road ahead in 2018. Even with the uncertainty of tax reform behind them, more than 48% of recently surveyed developers expect housing finance conditions to worsen by the end of the year. About 31% say conditions will improve, and 20% say they’ll be about the same.

Read more here.

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AMCAL Secures Financing for Two Developments

AMCAL Multi-Housing and AMTEX Multi-Housing have taken big steps toward developing workforce housing communities in Santa Ana, Calif., and Austin, Texas.

William Hezmalhalch Architects Designed by William Hezmalhalch Architects, First Street Apartments in Santa Ana, Calif., is scheduled to be completed by developer AMCAL Multi-Housing in September 2019.

In partnership with the city of Santa Ana, AMCAL Multi-Housing announced that it closed financing on a new 69-unit apartment community in Santa Ana. Bank of America Merrill Lynch is serving as the equity investor as well as the construction and permanent lender for the project. Construction will commence at the site in May with the demolition work of an existing deteriorating office building.

Read more about this here.

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Former hospitals find new life as apartments and condos

When Juana Monroy moved into Hollenbeck Terrace in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 2015, she learned that the white, towering senior apartment building was once a busy hospital that had appeared in dozens of movies and television shows.

Then she heard the rumors that the old Linda Vista Community Hospital building was haunted. “I was a little scared,” said Monroy, 60.

But she hasn’t seen a ghost yet, and now she loves living in a building with such history. “It’s gorgeous,” she said.

Across the country, hospitals that have shut their doors are coming back to life in various ways: affordable senior housing in Los Angeles, luxurious multimillion-dollar condominiums in New York’s Greenwich Village, a historic hotel in Santa Fe, N.M.

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.