Affordable Housing

Independence Point- Improving Lives Through Affordable Housing

Agueda Aguirre shares a three bedroom Independence Point town home with her children, including her 5 year-old developmentally disabled son, Esteban. 

Agueda Aguirre shares a three bedroom Independence Point town home with her children, including her 5 year-old developmentally disabled son, Esteban. 

When Chelsea Investment Corp. opened Independence Point in Lincoln Park just 10 months ago, it was San Diego’s first affordable housing community built with apartments set aside for people with a developmental disability. 

Last week we had the opportunity to meet with Agueda Aguirre, a resident at Independence Point who for five years prior to her move was living in a friend’s garage. Agueda, a single mother of four including a five year-old son with Down’s Syndrome, endured unimaginable conditions in order to stay off the street. She described for us the extreme temperatures, rodent and insect problems, and the heartbreak of needing her eldest daughter’s help, knowing she should be in school. 

Since moving to Independence Point, her son is thriving, her eldest daughter is back at college studying for her teaching credential and her 18 year-old daughter is attending Grossmont College as a freshman, planning to transfer to UCSD and ultimately become a history teacher. 

When a family's basic needs are met, they are free to pursue higher needs such as education and well-being, both physical and mental. 

“Imagine for a moment that you’re a parent or a family member of a person with a developmental disability,” said Jim Schmid, president and CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp. “Your single biggest fear is, “where will my child, brother or sister live when I’m gone?” Independence Point is a place where individuals can live independently in homes that are designed to meet their unique circumstances.”

Thanks to its funding and development agreements, Independent Point will maintain its affordable designation for 55 years. It is convenient to grocery stores, schools and public transportation and benefits from on- and off-site social services provided by the Southern California Housing Collaborative, through the San Diego Regional Center.

The Renovation of Westminster Manor Earns the National Spotlight

The newly renovated Westminster Manor.

The newly renovated Westminster Manor.

Every industry has its own version of the “Oscars” and the apartment and condo marketplace is no different. Each year, leaders in that industry (known as “multifamily” development) gather at the International Builders Show to showcase best practices and high achievers.

This past week in Orlando, our Westminster Manor tower for low income seniors was cast into the spotlight as a finalist for Best Acquisition/Rehabilitation of an Affordable Apartment Community.

The National Association of Home Builders annual Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Awards must have seen what we believe to be true: the renovation of Westminster Manor could be a model for similar projects.

The dining room at Westminster Manor overlooking the San Diego skyline.

The dining room at Westminster Manor overlooking the San Diego skyline.

What was our challenge? How do you renovate a “tired” building that is currently occupied with long-term tenants who must be temporarily relocated for several months? Many of the folks living at 1730 Third Avenue had occupied that 16-story building for decades;  Safe to say, most of them were pretty anxious about moving out and being relocated for up to six months.

We were lucky enough to work with Joe Gavin - Senior Care Navigator at Serving Seniors - who moved his office to Westminster Manor months in advance of the move. Joe is affable and professional, and he quickly became immersed in the lives and needs of our residents. We can’t thank Joe – and Serving Seniors – enough for successfully assisting in the relocation and return of our residents. 

For more on the Westminster Manor story, click here.

Congratulations to Tim Baker and his colleagues here at Chelsea … and a huge shout out to the management team at ConAm Management Corp. as well as to Joe Gavin, Paul Downey and the incredible team from Serving Seniors who helped our seniors navigate the challenges of a major move.

We promise you, the residents are loving the results of the renovation! 

A Holiday Meal at Alpha Square

The Chelsea Investment Corporation/Emmerson Construction team had the honor of serving the residents of Alpha Square on December 9th. 

The Chelsea Investment Corporation/Emmerson Construction team had the honor of serving the residents of Alpha Square on December 9th. 

A wonderful time was had by all at last Friday's holiday luncheon at Alpha Square. When people join together to serve the community, it is a win for everyone involved. 

The dining room at Alpha Square- a place to gather and share a meal. 

The dining room at Alpha Square- a place to gather and share a meal. 

Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors Thunder-Jones Contracting Group, AMG Demolition, and Concrete Contractors Interstate for helping Chelsea and Emmerson host a holiday luncheon for the residents of Alpha Square.  

We are grateful for the opportunity to have served a delicious meal with all the trimmings. 

We are grateful for the opportunity to have served a delicious meal with all the trimmings. 

With generous donations from our Platinum Sponsors, as well as from Fiber Care Baths, Labor Compliance Consultants of Southern California, Mark Harris Plumbing, and HCI Systems, we were able to provide a roast turkey meal with all the trimmings for the 201 residents.

Completed just one year ago, Alpha Square is an award-winning affordable apartment building in downtown San Diego for households at risk of homelessness.  In addition to housing, the development features a large commercial kitchen and space for recreation, services, and retail; it’s truly a successful model for the Housing First approach to ending homelessness.  Chelsea and Emmerson are honored to support the Alpha Project in its mission to end homelessness with developments like Alpha Square.

Juniper at the Preserve- A Groundbreaking Event

“This project is very important, and the city of Carlsbad has done a good job seeing to it that affordable housing gets built in their projects.” ~ Walter Heiberg 

“This project is very important, and the city of Carlsbad has done a good job seeing to it that affordable housing gets built in their projects.” ~ Walter Heiberg 

On a crisp December morning, Chelsea Investment Corporation broke ground at Juniper at the Preserve, Cornerstone Communities’ newest master-planned community. Juniper at the Preserve, a 64 family unit garden apartment complex, is CIC’s fourth affordable housing project for the city of Carlsbad, for a total of 416 affordable homes. 

Walter Heiberg kicked off the groundbreaking event, and in his introductory remarks, mentioned a fundamental truth about the reason for affordable housing projects such as this. “The residents that we’re doing this project for, you and I see every day. They’re the clerk at the 7-11, they’re our landscapers and the substitute teacher we see every day at our school.” 

After recognizing all of the contributing partners, Walter Heiberg thanked the city of Carlsbad, “And lastly, the city of Carlsbad, who we consider a partner in this project as well, as they have been in all of our projects."

After recognizing all of the contributing partners, Walter Heiberg thanked the city of Carlsbad, “And lastly, the city of Carlsbad, who we consider a partner in this project as well, as they have been in all of our projects."

  • Designed by San Diego architect McKinley & Associates, the project features twelve 1-bed, thirty-two 2-bed and twenty 3-bedroom units in five 2- and 3-story buildings, with a community room, landscaped courtyard and multiple outdoor areas for children to play.

  • Rents are 50 to 60% of AMI, ranging from high $700 to low $1300.

  • Leasing is expected to begin October 2017.

Developed by Carlsbad developer Chelsea Investment Corporation, and constructed by Carlsbad general contractor Emmerson Construction, Inc., Juniper at the Preserve is another project we are extremely proud to be involved with. To learn more about our history of building affordable housing in Carlsbad, visit our blog: The City of Carlsbad- Pioneering Affordable Housing Since 1993.

Trolley Park Terrace- Revitalizing a Community

Chelsea Investment Corporation

“These affordable residential units will open up high quality housing options to low income families in this community who can’t otherwise afford the cost of living in our neighborhood.” ~The Honorable San Diego City Councilmember Myrtle Cole (District 4)

Trolley Park Terrace, Southeastern San Diego's new 52-unit LEED certified affordable housing complex, was finished 48 days ahead of schedule and $900,000 under budget. 

Trolley Park Terrace, Southeastern San Diego's new 52-unit LEED certified affordable housing complex, was finished 48 days ahead of schedule and $900,000 under budget. 

On Monday October 24th we celebrated the grand opening of Trolley Park Terrace, a transit oriented infill development in southeast San Diego. Located at the corner of Market Street and Market Creek Place Driveway, this new housing complex will provide affordable housing for 52 families, with rents ranging from 18% - 26% below market rate. Built with sustainability and livability in mind, Trolley Park Terrace is located near public transit and offers its residents a computer lab in addition to financial literacy and English as a second language classes offered on site. 

This vital new neighborhood is part of a redevelopment movement initiated by The Jacobs Center For Neighborhood Innovation. The Jacobs Center, located just next door, is working to revitalize 60 acres of land to provide residents with greater access to amenities that improve their quality of life. Together we are creating the foundation to transform the area into a vibrant town center supported by high-quality infrastructure, specialized industries, entrepreneurs, and artists. This redevelopment work not only brings places for residents of the Diamond Neighborhoods to shop, dine, work, and gather, it also brings new places to live.  In the words of San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, who was present for the grand opening, "Trolley Park Terrace is the kind of smart development that San Diego needs to bring affordable housing to the families who need it the most.” 

 Trolley Park Terrace is about creating the home and opportunities for our residents to thrive.

 Trolley Park Terrace is about creating the home and opportunities for our residents to thrive.

Trolley Park Terrace is currently at 100% occupancy. To join the waiting list please click HERE.

Professional Awards and Personal Triumphs- A Meaningful Night at The ICON Awards

Providing affordable housing for those with developmental disabilities hits home- CIC Founder and CEO, Jim Schmid dedicates his award to his beloved 12-year-old granddaughter Avery. (Pictured left to right: Jim Schmid, Janice Patterson, Senior Project Manager at Emmerson Construction, Inc., Executive Director So. Cal. Housing Collaborative, Nathan Schmid and Kursat Misirlioglu, Director of Project Finance for CIC. Front row: Miss Avery Schmid.) 

Providing affordable housing for those with developmental disabilities hits home- CIC Founder and CEO, Jim Schmid dedicates his award to his beloved 12-year-old granddaughter Avery. (Pictured left to right: Jim Schmid, Janice Patterson, Senior Project Manager at Emmerson Construction, Inc., Executive Director So. Cal. Housing Collaborative, Nathan Schmid and Kursat Misirlioglu, Director of Project Finance for CIC. Front row: Miss Avery Schmid.) 

For Jim Schmid, Founder and CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp., it’s personal and professional. His leadership in developing affordable housing for individuals with developmental disabilities comes from his heart and his head.

When Jim received a standing ovation from the Building Industry Association at the annual ICON awards last month, he was stunned and humbled. He shared that ovation – and an unprecedented Honorable Mention award -- with Independence Point, a modest infill project in San Diego’s Lincoln Park, where 25 of 32 units are set aside for those with a developmental disability.

Jim dedicated that award to his beloved and beautiful 12-year-old granddaughter, Avery, herself afflicted with cerebral palsy. Here’s Avery at the Icon Awards, with an award that hits home for everyone in the Chelsea family.

For more on the “monumental achievement” that is Independence Point, click here.

Tranquilo- Peaceful Living at Villa Primavera Apartments

Designed by Hedenkamp to meet LEED Gold standards, Villa Primavera consists of five two-story, garden-style buildings and a community building, with 48 carports and 53 uncovered parking spaces. Featuring 12 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom flats.

Designed by Hedenkamp to meet LEED Gold standards, Villa Primavera consists of five two-story, garden-style buildings and a community building, with 48 carports and 53 uncovered parking spaces. Featuring 12 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom flats.

At Chelsea Investment Corporation, we are committed to helping families by providing affordable housing for dignified living. 

Throughout the years we have had the good fortune of getting to know some of the people whose lives have been improved as a result of secure and affordable housing. Cecilia Rodriguez, is a resident at one such property. Villa Primavera Apartments is a 2.86-acre site on Meadows Drive in Calexico, California offering a total of 47 units, 17 of which are designated for families with a developmentally disabled member including 8 units that are ADA accessible. 

Cecelia, whose 28-year-old daughter, Diana, is autistic and doesn’t speak, sat down with us last week in her apartment and shared how her life has changed for the better since her move. Her daughter Diana goes to the Easter Seals Southern California Adult Services center in El Centro by bus, every day from 9 am - 2 pm and has become very happy as a result of living in this calm and quiet environment. Cecilia is studying English so she wanted to do our interview in English, her second language. What followed was inspiring both in terms of what Cecelia has accomplished linguistically, but also how her daughter’s life has been enhanced because of their living situation. 

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Ceclia described their life at Villa Primavera as, "Tranquilo." a Spanish word with a number of definitions including tranquil, calm, peaceful, and relaxing.

When basic needs are no longer a worry, families are able to focus more attention on improving both developmentally and academically. We are profoundly honored to be a part of this evolution.

Making Beautiful Music - Changing Lives Through Affordable Housing

Terrence Patridge and his mother Thérèse Davis in the Community Room at The Landings in Chula Vista.

Terrence Patridge and his mother Thérèse Davis in the Community Room at The Landings in Chula Vista.

Last Friday we had the pleasure of meeting Terrence Patridge and his mother Thérèse Davis at The Landings in Chula Vista. The two, who along with Thérèse’s mother, share one of the apartment homes at The Landings, were kind enough to meet with us and discuss how their life has been enhanced since moving in. As a premier builder of affordable housing, we are grateful for the opportunity to share these stories of how peoples’ lives are profoundly changed simply by finding a safe and secure place to live.

The Landings was built as part of an inclusionary requirement and was developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation to provide affordable housing for people in need.

The Landings was built as part of an inclusionary requirement and was developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation to provide affordable housing for people in need.

At a very young age, Thérèse’s son Terrence was diagnosed with autism, a diagnosis which can seem devastating to a parent. With the support of his mother and a stable home environment, Terrence is proving that kids with autism can lead productive, independent lives and achieve their dreams. Terrence has been playing trombone since he was a young boy and now plays with orchestras, in theater productions, jazz ensembles and in church. He is able to ride the bus and take the trolley to Mesa College where he is going to school to become a sound engineer. He is currently studying for a certificate in music theory to strengthen his musical foundation and also taking piano as a part of his studies.

During the course of our interview, Terrence and his mom expressed the joys and benefits of their life at The Landings. They explained how Terrence spends his time at home practicing his trombone and piano and also contributing to the care of his “Granny.”  He then treated us to his beautiful rendition of Misty by Erroll Garner

A picture is worth a thousand words...

A picture is worth a thousand words...

Thérèse worked with the staff of the Southern California Housing Collaborative and with Chelsea’s property management company to secure an apartment that was served by a common elevator and was ADA-wheelchair accessible with a roll-in shower; a necessity for her mother who at times must depend on her wheelchair. The Landings was built as part of an inclusionary requirement and was developed by Chelsea Investment Corporation to provide affordable housing for people in need.

The Landings' ADA-wheelchair accessible leasing center.

The Landings' ADA-wheelchair accessible leasing center.

Independence Point - Dignified Housing for Families With Disabilities

"We are very blessed to have found Independence Point." - Jessica Alvarez

"We are very blessed to have found Independence Point." - Jessica Alvarez

At Chelsea Investment Corporation, we are committed to helping families by providing affordable housing for dignified living. One of our more recent undertakings is a newly built community of townhomes in San Diego. Independence Point provides housing for families with a developmentally disabled member and in doing so, helps to improve the quality of life for the entire family.

San Diegan Jessica Alvarez knows what hard times look like. A single mother with two daughters, she and her girls have survived the full range of insecure housing – from homelessness to a tiny one-bedroom rental with black mold and dangerous neighbors. 

Today, Jessica says she is “very blessed” as she tours us through her brand new, three-bedroom apartment at Independence Point, an affordable housing community built through our partnership with the Southern California Housing Collaborative (Housing Collaborative) and the San Diego Housing Commission. Located in Lincoln Park just off Imperial Avenue, Independence Point reserves 25 of 32 townhomes for qualified households with a developmentally disabled member. 

Both comfortable and affordable, 25 of the 32 units at Independence Point are allocated for families with a developmentally disabled member.  

Both comfortable and affordable, 25 of the 32 units at Independence Point are allocated for families with a developmentally disabled member. 

Jessica Alvarez found Independence Point while seeking resources for her six-year-old daughter, Babie, who is on the autism spectrum. Like other Independence Point residents, Jessica's income qualifies her for rent that is discounted from market-rate, increasing the funds she has available for care associated with her daughter's disability. 

Academic improvements for both children were noticeable within weeks of finding secure housing. 

Academic improvements for both children were noticeable within weeks of finding secure housing. 

“Both Babie and my teenage daughter have made great improvements in school since we moved here four months ago,” said Jessica, who noted that her older daughter is a high school senior with aspirations to win an academic scholarship at the University of Chicago. Jessica’s three-bedroom townhome includes an attached garage that they’ve converted into a private room for yoga and other healing therapies for Babie.

When basic needs are no longer a worry, families are able to focus more attention on improving both developmentally and academically. We are profoundly honored to be a part of this evolution. 

Cultivating a Community at Westminster Manor

Margaret, one of our  Westminster Manor  residents, shows off her plot in the community garden.

Margaret, one of our Westminster Manor residents, shows off her plot in the community garden.

In addition to producing affordable housing, Chelsea Investment Corporation is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the people who live in the housing we provide. The Westminster Manor senior living apartments are just one such example. 

Our latest endeavor at Westminster Manor is the community garden, wherein residents are able to cultivate, plant, tend and harvest a variety of crops, from food to cutting flowers. Community gardening is defined by its shared nature; gardeners work collectively to manage a garden for shared benefit. Participation in the gardening activities can improve wellbeing through increased social contact. In addition, the benefits of community gardening are believed to extend beyond the participants themselves by creating more cohesive communities through improved physical environments and the sharing of products and labor.

A community garden is defined and described by the  American Community Garden Association  (the ACGA) as a place that is urban, suburban, or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables or community. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots, as is the garden at Westminster Manor.

A community garden is defined and described by the American Community Garden Association (the ACGA) as a place that is urban, suburban, or rural. It can grow flowers, vegetables or community. It can be one community plot, or can be many individual plots, as is the garden at Westminster Manor.

A community garden is a wonderful venue for people to gather and enjoy the social aspect of actually growing food: sharing stories, sharing harvests, sharing meals. Communities can really come together across any perceived demographic lines. It brings people together who may otherwise not have become acquainted- cultivating a community, one garden plot at a time. 

Margaret gives us a closeup of her home grown sugar snap peas. 

Margaret gives us a closeup of her home grown sugar snap peas. 

Wishing our residents a bountiful harvest!