North_Santa_Fe

North Santa Fe Apartments is a transit-friendly, family rental development on 1.4 acres in downtown Vista, California, immediately across from the Sprinter train and bus station.

Please note: The interest list for North Santa Fe is now closed.

Location: 301 North Santa Fe Avenue, Vista, CA, 92084

North Santa Fe Apartments is a 68 apartment community located on North Santa Fe Avenue, directly across the street from the Vista Transit Station served by NCTD’s Sprinter train and BREEZE buses. The 1.4 acre transit-oriented development is located in one of the few North County SANDAG Smart Growth areas, and is part of the city’s Downtown Specific Plan. As a pedestrian friendly community connected to the neighborhood, the project is part of the thriving revitalization of Vista’s urban village. Residents will benefit from the ready availability of train and bus service to their jobs and schools. Designed by Rodriguez Associates Architects and Planners, Inc., the development includes two 3-story podium construction residential buildings above subterranean parking structures. Constructed by Vista-based Sun Country Builders, the project included substantial public utility relocation and improvement of the adjacent public alley, as well as remediation of contamination from prior industrial/commercial uses. Total parking is 109 spaces, with 80 spaces in the garages and the remainder surface parking along the public alley. The 2,600 sf single-story community building intended as a central hub for residents, includes: the leasing office, computer room, a reading nook, interview room, resident kitchen and community room, laundry room, restrooms, and patio with picnic seating and barbeque. Mailboxes are planned adjacent to the tot lot play area to provide ease of supervision by parents while doing laundry. Additionally, there is a resident lounge area on the third floor of the larger residential building.

Highlights

  • Pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented development with underground parking
  • 68 affordable apartment homes for families at 30 to 60 percent of the area median income (AMI)
  • Ten of these apartments are reserved for Transition-Aged Youth, vulnerable youth aging out of foster care, with North County Lifeline as the special service provider
  • Sustainable design and construction that provides health benefits and cost savings in energy and water to the residents and the property
  • On-site CHW resident programs focused on next-generation success, family, and financial stability to help youth succeed in school and help resident move up in the world

January, 2015 construction photo, courtesy of Sun Country Builders

Development Team:

Funding Provided By:

NSF_lenders_web

The City of Vista provided a 62 year ground lease for the site. Union Bank is the construction and permanent lender, and is also the tax credit investor for the $16.6 million of low-income housing tax credits. The City of Carlsbad provided $370,000 of CDBG funds; additionally, financing included NeighborWorks funds which will be replaced by $670,000 of Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco AHP funds at conversion. Solar and energy program rebates, together with reimbursement from the City of Vista for community upgrades of the sewer in the public alley, complete the project funding.

Development: 

Designed by Rodriguez Associates Architects and Planners, Inc., the development includes two 3-story podium construction residential buildings above subterranean parking structures. Constructed by Vista-based Sun Country Builders, the project included substantial public utility relocation and improvement of the adjacent public alley, as well as remediation of contamination from prior industrial/commercial uses.     Total parking is 109 spaces, with 80 spaces in the garages and the remainder surface parking along the public alley.

The 2,600 sf single-story community building intended as a central hub for residents, includes: the leasing office, computer room, a reading nook, interview room, resident kitchen and community room, laundry room, restrooms, and patio with picnic seating and barbeque. Mailboxes are planned adjacent to the tot lot play area to provide ease of supervision by parents while doing laundry. Additionally, there is a resident lounge area on the third floor of the larger residential building.

Sustainability:

North Santa Fe Apartments is certified as Green Point Rated, with 201 points (Platinum level), and is part of the SDG&E California Advanced Home design program. It’s a high performance development, with ratings approximately 40% above California’s energy code. The high efficiency reduces the operating costs for long term ownership, keeps the apartments comfortable in all weather, and mitigates utility costs for households so they can invest in their future. • Apartments include Energy Star appliances, heat pumps, pin florescent lighting. Roof-mounted solar thermal preheats water for the high efficiency gas-fired central hot water boilers. Similarly, photovoltaic panels will support at least 50% of the common area electric load. • Interiors include no-VOC paint, natural wood cabinets, bathroom humidistats/ fans, and hard plank flooring throughout the apartments to reduce risk of asthma. Similarly, the development is No-Smoking both in common areas and in apartments to preserve the sustainable construction and promote resident health today and in the future. • Storm water is treated on-site through permeable pavement, planters that catch and filter the water, and landscaped bio-retention areas. This efficient design allowed maximum utilization of the land; • Water conservation is carefully planned with native and drought resistant landscape, low flow toilets and faucets. • To encourage residents to use the stairs versus the elevators, the central stairs have been attractively designed to promote exercise and conserve electricity. Secure bicycle storage is provided in the garages, and walking is encouraged in this pedestrian-oriented location.

Train and Produce Imagery:

In 1887, the Santa Fe Railroad began service to Vista, connecting Oceanside and Escondido. Passenger service continued until 1946, when only freight service, largely consisting of produce grown in Vista, ran on the rails directly across from North Santa Fe Apartments. Located on the street named for this railroad, and situated directly across from the former Santa Fe Station, North Santa Fe Apartments was inspired by the site’s history and the Santa Fe Railroad’s iconic Super Chief train that began in 1937.

The site plan resembles a long, narrow train. The community building architecture is inspired by the rail stations that linked California towns with the rest of the nation. The three light towers, depicting train signal towers, string along North Santa Fe near the community building patio and include train symbols, complimenting the nearby tot lot’s train play structure. Interior furnishings recall the original Super Chief’s passenger car palate of grey and red with stainless accents, including the corrugated metal wrap around the kitchen island, textured stainless elevator cabs, bright red and blue “arrow” benches in the reading nook, original photographs of the Super Chief train in the interview room, and signage using vintage fonts.

The Santa Fe trains that once rolled past this site carried produce, especially avocados, grown in Vista and shipped to national markets. Original labels, once affixed to the fruit crates that carried produce and lyrically offered the dream of sunny California, now grace the walls of the community building. The labels tell the story of the region’s produce and it’s past connection with the railroad, but also resonate today with the message to eat locally grown, sustainable foods.

North Santa Fe Apartments honors the history of early Vista, but represents Vista’s 21st century thriving downtown village. Though the Santa Fe trains no longer roll past the site, instead the NCTD Sprinter glides on the same lines. Transit-oriented, pedestrian friendly, proud of abundant produce—that is the Vista of yesterday and of tomorrow.