Oceanside CA— Work continues to progress at the Mission Cove Affordable Housing, Mixed Use Development as the first phases move towards completion under co-developers, Community HousingWorks (CHW) and National Community Renaissance (CORE).
The project broke ground on the 14.5 acres in August of 2014. For a while, it may have looked as though not much progress was being made at the site but there was a lot going on behind the green fences lining the south side of Mission Ave at Roymar Rd.
“Developers stayed away from this land for a long time for a variety of reasons; it’s too flat, storm water rules, soil liquefaction problems. When the City bought it and we looked at it, our soil engineer and construction people were able to come up with a solution that would save us a lot of money right from the start,” said John Seymour, Vice President at CORE.
“All of the homes surrounding the project are in a flood plain. We raised the elevation across the entire site, four to four and a half feet.” explained Travis Haskins, Construction Superintendent at CORE, “Because we are so close to the water table, the original soil engineers came up with solutions using rock piles and geo-fabric under the pads to stabilize the soil. We brought in another soil engineer to get a second opinion and he saved us about two million dollars by switching to post tension concrete pads.
The grade at the site was raised 4 to 4 and a half feet at the site
Concrete slabs are poured with rebar or wire mesh for reinforcement. Adding post-tensioned reinforcement instead of rebar alone combines the action of reinforcing the tension zones with the advantages of compressing the concrete slab. All of the slabs on the site are post tension except for the mixed use building. ”Post tension is more expensive but not as expensive as all the geo-fabric and rock piles and the savings actually allowed us to build this project,” said Travis.
“CORE doesn’t flip our properties. We’re in it for the long haul so we need to make sure we build quality into the structures from the start. We don’t want to go ten or fifteen years down the road and have to come out-of-pocket to do massive improvements because it wasn’t done right to begin with,” said John.
Cost savings are being built into the development using universal design, green building and sustainable building practices such as; “Solar thermal water heating, foam with an R4 value ceiling to floor, along with insulation in the steel studs just makes the space better for the future tenants,” explained Travis “The windows we are using are top of the line argon filled and sun coated. The air conditioning system is different than you would find in most apartment buildings. We are using a type of plug and play if you will, so if something goes wrong, maintenance can just come in, unhook the old and plug in the new without tearing into the drywall. Anything we do with energy efficiency is usually 30-40% better than code requires. This whole project is ‘Green Point’ rated. We have third-party inspections for the installation of insulation, ductwork and mechanical. We pretty much have to do things two times better than anyone else.”
When completed, Mission Cove will be a high-quality mixed-use affordable housing community, with a Santa Barbara finish on the exterior, for families, seniors, veterans and kids transitioning out of the foster care system, in 288 apartment homes. “The people that will be living here are no different from anyone else. They are just people, for one reason or another, who have a low-income,” said John.
Rents, depending on income, will range from $428-$883 per month for a one bedroom, $477-$989 per month in a two bedroom and $519-$1088 for a three bedroom. “It will be very catalytic for the local area. People will be able to afford to spend some money in the local community which helps bring up the economy in the surrounding area,” said John. “There is an occupancy restriction that will be strictly enforced so you won’t find multiple families living in one unit.”
Some rent comps pulled in the area range from $1,450’s to mid $2,000’s for a one bedroom and $1,700’s to the mid $3,000 range for a three bedroom.
Along with the living area and retail space for which there are no tenants set as of now, there is a large-scale community room, the Kay Parker Family Resource Center, two state-of-the-art tot lots, park space, walking and exercise equipment paths around the perimeter of the 14-acre site and a community garden. “Everything is ADA compliant. If someone is wheelchair bound they will be able to access everything including the exercise equipment along the walking path, said Travis. The taller 3 story buildings are on the north side of the project and step down to a single story on the south side as to not impact the homes in the neighboring south side. “I’m not exaggerating when I say that Mission Cove has set the bar level in San Diego County, if not in all of Southern California,” said John.
Some quick numbers for Mission Cove Affordable Housing Mixed-Use Development:
- 14.5 acres;
- 288 apartment homes;
- 10,500 SF neighborhood retail space;
- Generate more than 300 jobs during the full construction period and build out;
- Generate more than 90 full-time on- and off-site jobs;
- Approximately $5.4 million will be paid to the city and school districts over the total development period;
- More than $25 million in local income, taxes and other revenue will be produced during construction build out;
- More than $7 million in local income, taxes and other revenue will be generated annually after lease-up;
- Total Project Cost including Land is about $95,803,000 or $332,649 per apartment home/retail/amenities. This is below the average cost of new construction affordable housing development in Southern California;
- The city’s housing fund investment of $18,700,000 (including land) into this intergenerational master plan community will leverage another $77,000,000 from outside public and private sector sources – creating jobs and investment within Oceanside. Leveraged City funds 4 times.
Signs are expected to be posted in the early part of 2017 with a website and phone number to call for an application to live at Mission Cove. “You get the application, you fill it out, turn it into National Core and you are put on a list. As we start to lease out, you will be brought in for interviews to see if you qualify. There are credit and income checks, background checks, third-party verification of income and good references. And that’s how you confirm your spot on the list. If you get it, you get your keys and you get to move in. Pretty simple,” said John.
Units should be available for occupancy in early 2018.