Former Dilapidated Site Blooms with Vibrant New Affordable Homes in Smart Growth/Sustainable Setting
SAN DIEGO CA – May 17, 2013
Community HousingWorks (CHW) celebrated the opening of Kalos, a new affordable apartment community in North Park, on May 17th. Assembly Majority Leader Toni Atkins, Mayor Bob Filner, Council President Todd Gloria and other dignitaries spoke at the Opening Celebration. The name, Kalos, is a Greek word meaning beautiful, noble and ‘all that is good’. “The Kalos project is another step in the renaissance of North Park which began while I was a member of the San Diego City Council,” says Atkins. “Where we once had blight, we now have a beautiful home for many people and a real asset to the neighborhood. This project is the perfect example of why working to secure funding for affordable housing is one of my priorities as a member of the State Assembly.”
Kalos’ 83 new apartments are located on a one-acre site within San Diego’s increasingly popular and rapidly gentrifying North Park neighborhood. The 1-, 2- and 3- bedroom apartments will be affordable to residents earning up to $48,360 for a family of four. Kalos meets the needs of a mix of single/family/senior households, with partnerships to provide support services for people with developmental disabilities and single mothers with infants. “Before moving to Kalos, my son and I had no place to live,” says Chloe Hoft-Truitt, “we bounced around from house to house, and this was especially hard since my son is disabled. Now, at Kalos we finally have a home with a rent we can afford and lots of support.”
Councilmember for District 3, Todd Gloria, notes, “Kalos is an outstanding legacy to the good work of the San Diego Redevelopment Agency. CHW has brought beautiful and responsive design to a quality infill development that is an amenity to the neighborhood. The artwork, Kalos Gateway, by local artist Lynn Susholtz at Stone Paper Scissors integrates a uniquely North Park aesthetic and vibe.”
“The good news here is that the San Diego Housing Commission’s investment requires Kalos Apartments to remain affordable for 55 years, “ said Richard C. Gentry, President & CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission. “In addition, we authorized the issuance of more than $14 million in multifamily exempt revenues bonds to fund this important development for low-income families.”
“Kalos could not be built today,” says CHW CEO Susan M. Reynolds, “The commitment to blend local funding sources that target infill, transit-oriented projects and leverage federal dollars has been disrupted.” In 2012, Governor Brown eliminated redevelopment agencies and with it an average of $1 billion a year to fund affordable housing around the state. Funding for the project included $7.2 million from the San Diego Housing Commission, $5 million from the former Redevelopment Agency, $14 million in bonds and equity from Union Bank, and substantial rebates and incentives for green and energy upgrades. Equity investment came from the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, administered by State Treasurer Bill Lockyer.
“Union Bank is proud to invest in this new North Park community to provide affordable housing for individuals and families,” says Union Bank Senior Vice President Annette Billingsley, head of Community Development Finance. “Community HousingWorks develops outstanding affordable apartments that help build communities. Kalos represents our fifth partnership together.”
SDG&E Vice President of Customer Services, Caroline Winn, adds, “We congratulate Community HousingWorks on its strong history of green development. We are pleased to have provided approximately $350,000 in incentives and rebates to promote the renewable resources and energy efficiency of this exciting development.”
Residents living at Kalos benefit from CHW’s nationally recognized after school programs and adult classes and coaching that help move families up in the world to economic independence and achievement. CHW is providing access to free basic Wi Fi to all residents and is working closely with nearby Jefferson Elementary, Roosevelt Middle, and San Diego High School. “Students who have stable homes and the support of after school programs like CHW’s do better in class and add to the stability of the entire school,” says Jefferson Principal Francisco Morgan.
Located just two blocks west of Park Boulevard and within walking distance of high-use transit lines, major employment centers and neighborhood amenities, Kalos’ 83 new apartments replaced an underutilized lot containing eight illegally-subdivided buildings units whose health and safety code violations plagued the residents and neighbors. Originally approved for 72 luxury condominiums, CHW used the density bonus ordinance to build additional apartments, while still reducing the height of the building in order to preserve neighboring views.
Designed by the internationally-renowned local architectural firm, MWSteele, Kalos looks as good from the back as from the front. Its colorful buildings offer healthy amenities to its residents including a welcoming and open central staircase, tot lot, two courtyards, a multi-purpose community center with kitchen, computer lab, children’s library and teen center, a laundry room and bike storage. The community room’s Cantina folding glass wall opens to the courtyard creating a wonderful space to host resident gatherings and meetings. Cross ventilation replaces the need for air conditioning, and construction materials and light airy apartments protect healthy indoor air. LEED certified training will orient each new resident about the green features of their apartment and the entire complex and explain how living here promotes sustainability. Kalos’ greenhouse gas emissions are reduced by 96 tons compared to an ordinary building. The energy saved equals 14 homes powered for a year, 20 cars off the road, planting 2,474 trees, or retaining 78 acres of forest compared to a new code compliant building. Double these numbers to compare to a pre-1978 building!
Green Features In response to San Diego’s desert climate, Kalos uses 56% less water than a typical residential community through sustainable landscape, efficient irrigation systems, and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Kalos achieves more than a 40% energy savings above local code requirements (Title 24), with a combination of rooftop solar collectors and an all-LED exterior lighting package. The property hosts an electric car share program on site with its own electric charging station that is available to all Car2Go members with special outreach to residents. The high efficiency central boiler uses water pre-heated from solar panels on the roof which greatly reduces energy used to provide everyone with hot water. Building and paving materials are selected to reflect the sun’s heat. Storm water is filtered in courtyards with permeable paving, filtration devices and plantings, cleaning the water before it enters storm drains and canyons. CHW spreads awareness of a healthy and sustainable lifestyle through smoke-free operations, tenant education and recycling programs. Kalos expects to receive LEED Platinum certification.
Susan M. Reynolds, President and CEO of CHW recognized many local and national funders for their financial contributions including San Diego Housing Commission President & CEO Richard Gentry, Civic San Diego Executive Director Jeff Graham, and Donna Knight, Regional Liaison for the NeighborWorks Network.
For High Resolution Photos: Contact Lisi Martinez-Manriquez at LManriquez@chworks.org; 619-450-8716