Westminster Manor

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. 

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! 

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! 

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.

 

 

 

 

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