SAN DIEGO (Dec. 2, 2015) -- Chelsea Investment Corp. has celebrated the grand opening of Alpha Square, a transit-oriented mixed-use complex offering 201 affordable rental apartments at 550 14th Street in the heart of San Diego’s East Village. Serving the homeless and low-income population, Alpha Square will be home to some 30 veterans of military service.
In the development pipeline since 2008, the $47.6 million complex replaces a dilapidated single-room occupancy hotel, The Metro, located a few blocks away. Formerly homeless and low-income residents moving to Alpha Square will find studio apartments more than twice of the size of their rooms at The Metro, and amenities including private bathrooms, cooktops, air conditioning, telephone service and internet access. Built on a 20,000-square-foot lot, the six-story building includes one level of subterranean parking.
Alpha Square was developed by Chelsea and Alpha Project for the Homeless in partnership with the San Diego Housing Commission and the City of San Diego. With case management and supportive services provided in-house, Alpha Square features a computer lab, multipurpose room, laundry facilities, commercial kitchen for resident meals, a community courtyard and a landscaped rooftop deck and terrace. The street level has space for income-producing microenterprises intended to provide training and employment opportunities for Alpha Square residents.
“The opening of Alpha Square is going to be a home for those who need a little help,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer during recent grand opening ceremonies on the building’s rooftop garden. “It’s a new beginning for San Diegans looking for a fresh start in their lives.”
The City of San Diego provided a $17.6 million loan for the construction of Alpha Square and owns the land, which is subject to a 70-year ground lease. The Project will benefit from 135 section 8 vouchers provided by the San Diego Housing Commission which will allow the tenants to pay no more than 30% of their income, and the federal government will pay the balance of the monthly rent. Rental assistance will stay with the unit when an occupant moves out.
Alpha Square was recently honored as San Diego’s best affordable project in 2015 by the leadership of the Building Industry Association of San Diego County (BIA), who also recognized Chelsea Investment Corp. as San Diego’s 2015 Builder of the Year.
Last month, Chelsea Founder and CEO Jim Schmid was presented with the BIA Chairman’s Award for starting the “Housing You Matters” initiative, an effort to achieve regulatory relief and to improve affordability across the spectrum of housing.
Schmid, who founded Chelsea in 1984, currently presides over what is ranked as the nation’s 16th largest developer of affordable housing. The firm’s local portfolio includes housing for families with special needs, as well as homes for low-income seniors and the homeless.
“Alpha Square is a model of collaboration between public and private interests to help ease the plight of homeless San Diegans,” said Schmid, who noted that Alpha Square will remain affordable to very low- and extremely low-income renters for 55 years.