Chelsea Investment

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! 

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.

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. 

AffordableHousing.jpg

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.

The City of Carlsbad: Pioneering Affordable Housing Since 1993

Glen Ridge Apartments  in Carlsbad, built by Chelsea Investment Corp.

Glen Ridge Apartments in Carlsbad, built by Chelsea Investment Corp.

Undoubtedly, it played to mixed reviews some 20 years ago when Carlsbad mandated an Inclusionary Housing Program to prospective developers. But surely the building industry agreed with the City that a plan was needed to satisfy the accelerating demand for affordable housing.

“When the need for affordable housing began to grow in the early 1990s, the City of Carlsbad got creative,” said Debbie Fountain, who has facilitated the creation of quality affordable housing in Carlsbad since 1993. “Coming out of the recession of the early ‘90s, the City partnered with the private sector and the inclusionary housing ordinance became part of the process in doing business with the City.”

Debbie Fountain has facilitated the creation of quality affordable housing in Carlsbad since 1993.


Debbie Fountain has facilitated the creation of quality affordable housing in Carlsbad since 1993.

Fountain, who now serves as Carlsbad’s Housing and Neighborhood Services Director, points to the first project out of that pipeline, a 344-unit apartment community built for low income households in Aviara.

“It looks as good today as it did the day it was ready for occupancy in 1996,” says Fountain.

Carlsbad’s strong partnership with the private sector, both for-profit and non-profit housing developers, has been a model for other municipalities grappling with the need for affordable housing.

How do they do it?

“We have been successful because we work each project on a case-by-case basis,” said Fountain. “We don’t have simply one way to produce the housing or any one way to structure a deal. We work with developers to build the product type that best fits with the remainder of the market rate development.”

Here at Chelsea Investment Corporation, we’re proud of our history with the City of Carlsbad, starting with Mariposa Apartments in 2005. To date, our partnerships with market rate developers account for about 16% of Carlsbad’s total inventory of housing for lower income households.

“Chelsea has been an extremely good partner for those developers, and has been very responsive to the City in creating housing that best meets the needs of the low income households of Carlsbad,” said Fountain. “The housing produced by Chelsea is very well-managed and well-maintained. The City has always been pleased with the developments they own and manage.”

In addition to Mariposa Apartments in the Calavera Hills neighborhood, our work in Carlsbad includes Hunter’s Pointe Apartments in La Costa and Glen Ridge Apartments in Robertson Ranch. Currently, we are developing a 64-unit Quarry Creek apartment community, where construction is expected to begin in September.

The 168 unit  Hunter's Pointe  project was developed to satisfy the affordable housing requirement of the La Costa Master Planned Community in Carlsbad, California.

The 168 unit Hunter's Pointe project was developed to satisfy the affordable housing requirement of the La Costa Master Planned Community in Carlsbad, California.

Carlsbad has set a high standard for the implementation of desirable communities that meet the needs of all residents, and advocates like Debbie Fountain help make it a positive experience for everyone involved. Even after 23 years in the business, she retains her passion for this impactful work.

“Providing affordable housing not only meets the needs of low income families but it helps the overall community to be healthier, too,” says Fountain. “Helping to provide permanent affordable shelter for our low income families brings me great joy.”

Click HERE for more information on the City of Carlsbad’s Inclusionary Housing Program.

 

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT: Pacific Southwest Community Development Corp.

Juli Veee and his group of young soccer players at Chelsea Investment's  Cedar Creek apartments  in Santee. 

Juli Veee and his group of young soccer players at Chelsea Investment's Cedar Creek apartments in Santee. 

One of the joys in soccer legend Juli Veee’s life is his work with kids who otherwise couldn't afford to play.

With many families unable to afford participating in organized competition, Juli Veee’s soccer clinics are a regular feature of after-school programming at many of Chelsea Investment Corporation’s (Chelsea) affordable communities in San Diego and Imperial counties. For eight years, the retired San Diego Sockers star’s program has been a valued component of many of the resident service plans designed by Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation (PSCDC).

“Juli works with kids who have limited access to organized play, or professional coaching,” said Robert Laing, president and executive director of PSCDC. “It’s one of most popular after-school programs, especially in Imperial County where many of our residents are priced out of activities like club sports.”

Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation's commitment to the after school program carries on throughout the summer months.

Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation's commitment to the after school program carries on throughout the summer months.

Since its inception in 1993, PSCDC has partnered with Chelsea at more than 50 apartment communities to meet the needs of low-income individuals and families.  The scope of these resident-serving programs includes sports and recreation, art, English as a second language, homework assistance, tutoring, computer labs, and other counseling services.

"We’re busiest during the school year, of course, but the goal of helping our students succeed doesn’t end when summer begins,” said Laing. “The children in our communities really look forward to the summer reading program, offered through the Public Library. We sponsor a competition every year to see who can read the most books and it’s become a big deal, especially for younger children.”

Another program with huge implications for the health and welfare of their residents is PSCDC’s support of the local food bank in Imperial County.

“Food insecurity is a big problem in Imperial County and over the years, we’ve helped implement some sustainable solutions,” said Laing.

Working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, PSCDC receives surplus food for distribution to Chelsea communities in the area.

“The USDA has trained our crews in proper food handling and food distribution,” said Laing. “We pay the food bank to load up their truck and deliver food to our properties. It’s available for any resident who wants or needs it.”

PSCDC is the second largest distributor of food in the Imperial Valley, second only to Catholic Charities.

In San Diego, several Chelsea properties stage their own farmers’ markets by setting up stalls in their community rooms.

“In these farmers’ markets, we’re able to distribute groceries that are nearing their sell-by dates,” said Laing. “It solves a problem for the major supermarket chains while helping our residents.”

Laing has led San Diego-based PSCDC since he left the homebuilding business in 2008. In the last eight years, he has grown the staff from three to 34 and has expanded the company’s client list.

Laing sees the future of the company well beyond its current mission. Just last month, PSCDC completed a new 20-unit senior apartment complex in downtown Morro Bay, Calif.

“Rather than being just a partner, we’ve decided to build our own affordable housing,” said Laing. “We just finished our first one and we’re looking for more opportunities.”

For more information on PSCDC, visit http://pswcdc.org

Let Freedom Ring - Affordable Housing for Seniors at Westminster Manor

June Spano, 66, and her dog Charlie.

June Spano, 66, and her dog Charlie.

We recently interviewed several of our residents at Westminster Manor to see how they're settling into their newly renovated apartments and how affordable senior housing has impacted their lives. We were delighted to hear their feedback and to be offered a glimpse into a day in the life at Westminster Manor. Here's a sneak peek of one of our conversations with a lovely woman named June Spano.

We asked one question: What do you like about living here at Westminster Manor?

"I’m very very grateful for living here because it’s affordable housing for seniors. I live on a fixed income now, so this is perfect for me. The girls in the front office are cheerful, they’re very helpful if we need anything. There is any church you want right here in the neighborhood and it’s just a great community." June enthusiastically added, "I love that I can have my dog Charlie here with me and that I’m making new friends. We have a beautiful recreation room upstairs. I’ve already had a party there for my granddaughter’s confirmation and there’s no charge for using the room. I saw the best fireworks that I've ever seen in my life this year, from my balcony! My closest friends were here with me and they just loved it. We had a ball!"

With her beloved collection of objet d'art, June's apartment is a reflection of her life, past and present.

With her beloved collection of objet d'art, June's apartment is a reflection of her life, past and present.

“We’re very close to Balboa Park, so a lot of times rather than walking Charlie in the city, we go up to the park for our early morning walk. It’s great! I’m so happy I can keep my companion dog with me here; he’s a favorite at Westminster Manor and loves all of the other residents.”

The view from June's apartment overlooking the San Diego Bay.

The view from June's apartment overlooking the San Diego Bay.

In fact, June spent many years helping seniors before she retired. She told us that she feels blessed to be living at Westminster Manor. “I feel like God blessed me by putting me here, with a beautiful view for my retirement years. I am so grateful”

The July 4th view from June Spano's Westminster Manor 12th floor apartment. Photo taken by her daughter Heather Kurtz.

The July 4th view from June Spano's Westminster Manor 12th floor apartment. Photo taken by her daughter Heather Kurtz.

We are grateful as well, June. Thank you for the opportunity and for a beautiful interview.

Chelsea Investment Corp. is committed to providing superior solutions for affordable housing. Through the years we have garnered many awards including the 2015 BIA Best Affordable Project Icon Award for Alpha Square and most recently the 2016 San Diego Housing Federation Ruby Award for Supportive Housing for Independence Point.

To learn more, please follow us on Instagram @chelseinvestment and "Like" us on Facebook.

From inclusionary development to creating homes for populations with special needs, Chelsea Investment Corporation develops award-winning affordable housing that strengthens communities and enriches lives.

 

 

 

 

Independence Point Wins the 2016 Ruby Award!

affordablehousingsandiego.jpg

Chelsea Investment Corporation was honored to accept the Supportive Housing award on behalf of Independence Point at the San Diego Housing Federation’s 2016 Ruby Awards on June 2nd.  Independence Point was developed by a partnership between Chelsea Investment Corporation and Southern California Housing Collaborative, a nonprofit organization established to locate and secure affordable housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.  The community consists of 32 affordable townhomes, 27 of which are for households with a developmentally disabled member. 

Affordable housing for families with a developmentally disabled member. 

Affordable housing for families with a developmentally disabled member. 


This is the project’s second Ruby award; last year, while under construction, Independence Point received the Housing Hero award. The Supportive Housing award recognizes an outstanding supportive housing project, organization, or individual leader. Nominations are invited for housing developments completed in San Diego County that have a focus on supportive services to enable people to end their homelessness, especially special needs populations, including people with disabilities.


This award is a tremendous milestone for the Independence Point team, and it was even more special to have it presented by District 4 City Councilmember Myrtle Cole, who supported the project from the beginning.

This is but one of the awards that Chelsea Investment Corporation is profoundly grateful to have been honored with throughout the years.

PARTNER SPOTLIGHT- Serving Seniors and Westminster Manor

A view of the San Diego Bay from one of the  Westminster Manor  rooms.

A view of the San Diego Bay from one of the Westminster Manor rooms.

Last year, we temporarily displaced nearly 150 seniors while we renovated and modernized their 1970’s-era apartments at Westminster Manor in downtown San Diego. (We purchased the building with Westminster Manor of San Diego, Inc., and between the two of us launched a $12.5 million facelift.)

The newly renovated building is home to 150 seniors in San Diego.

The newly renovated building is home to 150 seniors in San Diego.

Many of the folks living at 1730 Third Avenue had occupied that 16-story building for decades; some of them are in their 80s and 90s. Safe to say, most of them were pretty anxious about moving out and being relocated for up to six months.

To assist us in this complex process, we partnered with Serving Seniors, whom we consider the Gold Standard in health and wellness services for seniors 60+ in San Diego. 

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. 

A business center and library is just one of the new additions in the many common areas at Westminster Manor.

A business center and library is just one of the new additions in the many common areas at Westminster Manor.

We’re happy to say that everyone is back – houseplants, pets and all – and enjoying their newly renovated units including kitchens and bathrooms, energy-efficient appliances, new flooring and windows, paint and window coverings, plus expanded and improved common areas. 

A bright and comfortable entry lounge provides residents and their guests with a place to relax when coming or going.  

A bright and comfortable entry lounge provides residents and their guests with a place to relax when coming or going. 

Our collaboration with Serving Seniors continues at Westminster Manor, where 152 “new and improved” apartments welcome low-income San Diegans 62+.  Social workers from Serving Seniors are providing ongoing support services for issues involving social security, transportation, medical and health, legal and finance. Serving Seniors provides a collection of resources for individuals whose circumstances require an expanded safety net.

Involvement with Serving Seniors doesn’t stop at the building’s front door. Many of our residents make the short, two-block trip to Serving Seniors’ Gary & Mary West Senior Wellness Center on Fourth Avenue, where free services are available in an open and cheerful environment. It’s almost hard to believe that so much is accessible to anyone in need, including breakfast and lunch, classes and games, a meditation room, physical and mental health care, and soon, a 4-chair dental clinic.

The relationship between Chelsea and Serving Seniors began 13 years ago when we developed their first affordable housing complex, Market Square Manor in San Diego’s East Village (since renamed the Potiker Family Senior Residence). In 2007, we collaborated again to develop City Heights Square in City Heights (later renamed Potiker City Heights Residence). Both buildings are located only walking distance to public transportation, pharmacies, churches, supermarkets, shopping centers and restaurants. These two projects were a rewarding collaboration for our company and we look forward to developing more affordable housing with Serving Seniors.

To get involved with Serving Seniors – or for a tour of the Gary and Mary West Senior Wellness Center in downtown San Diego  -- please contact Michelle Matter at 619-487-0701 or by email at michelle.matter@servingseniors.org.

ABOUT SERVING SENIORS

Serving Seniors is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping seniors in poverty live healthy and fulfilling lives. Founded more than 45 years ago, the organization meets its mission by offering a coordinated wellness model that addresses many senior issues under one roof. This safety net of services encourages seniors to live healthier lives by addressing successful aging. As a result, it keeps seniors out of emergency rooms, reduces hospital stays and delays and/or eliminates the need for long-term care.

In addition to this wonderful partnership, Westminster Manor is just one of the properties by Chelsea Investment Corp which offers a range of resident services