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Community HousingWorks breaks ground on affordable apartments in North Park

SAN DIEGO – Community HousingWorks announced late Wednesday the construction of Kalos, an 83-unit new affordable apartment community that will be built at 3795 Florida St. near University Avenue in North Park.

U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-San Diego) was the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 19.

The name, Kalos, is a Greek word meaning beautiful, noble and all that is good.

“We all know the challenge of bringing quality housing to our communities,” Davis said. “This development will help meet that challenge by providing safe and affordable housing as well as being a model of innovation with sustainable energy and water usages for the future. At the same time, it will create good jobs and provide a much needed boost to our local economy.”

Kalos’ apartments will be located on a one-acre site within the increasingly popular and rapidly gentrifying North Park neighborhood. The new community will offer 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom apartments that will be affordable to residents earning up to $49,140 (for a family of four at 60% of the Area Median Income).

Seniors, families and children living at Kalos will benefit from CHW’s nationally recognized after school programs and adult training that move families to economic independence and homeownership. The community will include a multipurpose meeting room with kitchen, media center, computer center, two courtyards, a bike shed and ample storage space.

CHW financed the development with funding from the San Diego Redevelopment Agency, the San Diego Housing Commission and the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Homebuilders (2010), the new construction will have positive impacts on the San Diego economy and on the North Park neighborhood itself:

• Job Creation - Kalos will create about 126 jobs; 66 jobs from direct and indirect effects of construction; 35 jobs supported by the induced effects of increased spending, and long-term creation of 25 new jobs to support the increased ongoing consumer activity.

• Immediate Economic Stimulus - The $14 million construction contract will immediately invigorate the local economy with increased demand for retail from workers and millions in construction materials. When new residents arrive, they will generate an estimated $2 million in earnings for local business owners and employees annually. Cities and states also benefit financially from the development of affordable housing through the capture of sales tax on building materials, income taxes on construction workers and fees for parks, water and sewer upgrades, and school fees.

• Sustainability - The complex will feature innovative energy-saving construction, products and technologies, including onsite solar thermal (solar hot water and apartment heating) and photovoltaic electricity (solar) energy production. Apartments are oriented to maximize pass-through cooling breezes and include simple things like Energy Star ceiling fans. Water saving features include native and low water usage plants, low flow toilets, showerheads and faucets. The contemporary architecture, designed with sustainable and Green Building principles, will minimize solar heat gain throughout the building and increase residents’ comfort. Kalos is registered under the US Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program, and is anticipating a rating of Gold or better.

“CHW took a failed condo project, a truly blighted set of old buildings and dirt filled vacant lots and is transforming them into 83 homes affordable to lower income, working families close to jobs in Mission Valley and downtown, transit, schools and several colleges,” said Susan Reynolds, CEO of CHW.

Councilmember Todd Gloria represents District 3, which includes North Park.

“Once again, Community HousingWorks leads the way with innovative energy features on an urban, transit-oriented site. I am glad that the North Park community strongly supported this new construction project and applaud the leaders who worked hard to make these apartments affordable to working families, young people joining our workforce, and seniors,” Gloria said.

Community leaders attending the event included San Diego Housing Commission Executive Director, Rick Gentry, San Diego Redevelopment Agency representatives and President and CEO of Community HousingWorks Sue Reynolds. Local and major banks that will be recognized for their participation include Union Bank, Sunwest Bank, Torrey Pines Bank, NeighborWorks Capital, as well as public lenders in the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego and the San Diego Housing Commission.

About Community HousingWorks

Community HousingWorks (CHW) is a San Diego based non-profit organization that provides a full range of housing options combined with training and support, in order to help people and neighborhoods move up in the world. CHW builds and owns beautiful affordable apartments, and provides unique first-time homebuyer loans, products and services. CHW’s community programs help thousands of children and adults build a better future each year. CHW is San Diego County’s only member of the national NeighborWorks Network®, and a proud affiliate of the National Council of La Raza.

SOURCE: Community HousingWorks