A Poway affordable housing project has opened in a development hailed by city officials for bringing needed diversity to a city known for its high end housing.
Named for the Greek god Apollo, the project at 13098 Poway Road at the northeast corner of Poway Road and Tarascan Avenue has 44 apartments targeting renters over the age of 62.
Apollo is part of the larger, $100 million Poway Commons development under construction in the historic Poway Town Center by Meridian Communities, an affiliate of the company behind the development of Millenia in Chula Vista.
Built by Chelsea Investment Corp. based in Carlsbad, the three-story Apollo has 39 one-bedroom apartments, nine two-bedroom apartments and 44 on-site parking spaces.
Veterans will be given preference for 15 of the apartments.
“There is a significant percentage of folks that are on fixed incomes that are in desperate need of affordable housing,” said Jim Anderson, CFO of Chelsea Investment Corp.
The need for affordable senior housing in Poway is particularly acute, Anderson said.
“That’s more or less what drove us to target that population,” Anderson said.
The apartments in Apollo are earmarked for households with annual incomes up to 60% of the area median income.
That would be an annual income of up to $50,940 for one person, $58,180 for two people, $65,480 for three people, and $72,720 for four people.
Monthly rents in Apollo range from $1,101 to $1,329 for one-bedroom apartments and from $1,240 to $1,592 for two-bedroom apartments.
“Affordable housing is a critical component of master planned communities like Poway Commons. What we see, particularly in San Diego County, is an extreme shortage of affordable housing in the rental market,” said Jim Schmid, founder and CEO of Chelsea Development.
“Affordable housing is the strongest foothold toward economic stability,” Schmid said.
Chelsea’s nonprofit partner in the project is Pacific Southwest Community Development Corp. Emmerson Construction was the general contractor and McKinley Associates was the architect.
Pacific Southwest will provide a variety of classes for Apollo tenants, including computer literacy, English language and art classes, job counseling, financial literacy and health classes.
The design of Apollo is meant to be similar to the rest of Poway Commons and the surrounding neighborhood, said Heidi Mather, director of development for Chelsea.
“It’s a three-story contemporary, a majority stucco exterior and some wood siding accents,” Mather said. “It certainly blends in. When you drive by, you don’t say, ‘Oh, that’s the affordable piece.’”
Every apartment has a balcony.
“We wanted seniors to be able to enjoy some private open space,” Mather said.
Poway Commons is divided into three separate neighborhoods, each of which like the affordable housing segment is named for a Greek god in a nod to Poway High School’s sports teams that are known as the Titans.
Development of the overall community of Poway Commons is proceeding apace with Apollo, said Guy Asaro, president and CEO of Meridian Development.
The for-sale market-rate portion of Poway Commons will have 97 units in a mix of townhomes and flats.
As of mid-January, 65 units had been sold, Asaro said.
“We’ll be sold out by the end of this year and we will probably complete delivery to homeowners by the second quarter of next year,” Asaro said. “The market continues to be fairly aggressive.”
Prices range from the high $700,000s to more than $1 million, Asaro said.
Poway Commons also will have about 2.2 acres of commercial space, although Asaro said that what goes into the commercial space has yet to be determined.
“We’re analyzing the market and the opportunities that might be available there,” Asaro said. “I think we’ll make some decisions in the coming year and whatever’s going to take place will be in the beginning of 2023.”
Chelsea Investment Corp.
Founded: 1984; Chelsea Properties (an LLC) was formed in 1984 to develop apartments and office buildings. In 1986, the company was incorporated as Chelsea Investment Corp. and narrowed its focus to affordable rental communities.
Founder and CEO: Jim Schmid
Business: Affordable housing developer