Chelsea Investment Corporation

Westminster Manor Welcomes the San Diego Press Club

Chelsea Investment Corporation's founder and CEO, Jim Schmid, gave the opening remarks on the topic of building affordable housing in San Diego.

Chelsea Investment Corporation's founder and CEO, Jim Schmid, gave the opening remarks on the topic of building affordable housing in San Diego.

Last month Westminster Manor had the honor of hosting The San Diego Press Club for their annual Speed Pitching event, the goal being to make meaningful connections, quickly. Guests were invited to pitch their story angle in 2 minutes or less to a select group of media professionals.

San Diego Magazine ,  San Diego Business Journal ,  Modern Luxury ,  The Daily Transcrip t,  Ranch & Coast ,  Times of San Diego  and  San Diego Home/Garden Magazine  were among the media outlets represented at the San Diego Press Club event.

San Diego Magazine, San Diego Business Journal, Modern Luxury, The Daily Transcript, Ranch & Coast, Times of San Diego and San Diego Home/Garden Magazine were among the media outlets represented at the San Diego Press Club event.

After meeting some of the local press corps, Jim Schmid was invited to write a series of columns on housing affordability in San Diego. He'll kick it off with the latest news from Housing You Matters, a broad binational coalition working to help make homes at all price points more economically feasible to develop.

 

Connections were made, stories were pitched and a productive night was had by all who attended. CIC is pleased with the way the renovation of Westminster Manor turned out and we are grateful for the opportunity to host such a worthy organization as The San Diego Press Club. 

Read, set, pitch!

Read, set, pitch!

The Westminster Manor dining room is a place for the senior residents to gather and share a sense of community. 

The Westminster Manor dining room is a place for the senior residents to gather and share a sense of community. 

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.

Ana Gomez- The Landings

Ana Gomez, a mother of three, tells us about life at The Landings in Chula Vista.

Ana Gomez, a mother of three, tells us about life at The Landings in Chula Vista.

At Chelsea Investment Corporation we are committed to leading the way in building and providing affordable housing for families in need. In doing this we are continually inspired by the triumph of the human spirit and grateful for the ability to see people thrive when their basic needs are being met. When faced with the challenge of having a family member with a developmental disability, it goes without saying that certain aspects can be trying. It is a beautiful thing to watch as families rise to the occasion, and we enjoy being able to share in their achievements. This is one such story. 

Ana Gomez is a 33 year-old mother of three beautiful children including 14 year-old Sophie, who at the age of 4 was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After falling into a coma in 2006, she awoke 4 1/2 months later, having suffered debilitating consequences resulting from her condition. 

Now in adolescence, there are complexities involved with caring for Sophie that are eased by being in a suitable living environment. Taking care of a young adult with a developmental disability can be taxing both emotionally and physically, but being in an apartment that is ADA accessible has helped to minimize the difficulty in some of Ana's daily tasks. Ana was kind enough to take us through a day in her life, describing how living at The Landings has eased many of her worries. 

The Landings' ADA-wheelchair accessible leasing center.

The Landings' ADA-wheelchair accessible leasing center.

Ana and her family have lived at The Landings for 6 years and in that time they’ve seen Sophie steadily improve. Ana shared with us how amenities that some may take for granted, such as air conditioning and wheelchair accessibility, make a huge difference in the life of a young lady who cannot move on her own. “When she was young, getting her into the tub was easy, but now she’s 14 and weighs 100 lbs. We have a roll-in shower here that we can put her in and it’s great” said Ana.

The pool at The Landings- Sophie's happy place.

The pool at The Landings- Sophie's happy place.

Also, because of the amount of space in their apartment, Sophie’s teacher is able to come for home schooling 2 hours a day as opposed to a place where lack of space might require that Ana bring her to school every day. As a result of consistent schooling and care, Sophie is excelling in her speech and steadily coming out of her shell. 

Smooth sidewalks and wheelchair access make going for a walk at The Landings much easier. 

Smooth sidewalks and wheelchair access make going for a walk at The Landings much easier. 

Sophie enjoys being taken for strolls through the tree-lined sidewalks leading to the grocery store and time spent in the pool, her favorite thing to do. The lifestyle at The Landings is conducive to her evolution and general happiness. We are grateful to be a part of this family’s solution, and to the Southern California Housing Collaborative for their assistance in the lives of so many people with developmental disabilities. 

Watch Ana’s interview on YouTube.

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. 

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.

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! 

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