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Affirmed Housing Building $51M Project in San Marcos

REAL ESTATE: Combines Two Affordable Housing Projects on One Site

Affirmed Housing has started construction of a $51.3 million affordable housing project in San Marcos.

At 79,510 square feet, Estrella will have 96 apartments in four three-story buildings ranging from about 15,000 square feet to about 24,000 square feet. The project also includes a separate community building of 27,028 square feet.

Estrella, 600 W. Richmar Ave., is a sister project to Alora, a $39.9 million affordable housing project under construction by Affirmed Housing adjacent to Estrella at 604 Richmar Ave. with 100 apartments.

Combined, Estrella and Alora will replace an older apartment complex that was on the site.

Marie Allen
Senior Project Manager
Affirmed Housing

“The site was split into two parcels as part of the Alora project. There is a private road that’s owned by Affirmed Housing that runs between the two parcels,” said Marie Allen, project manager of Affirmed Housing. “Alora is almost complete. It’s supposed to be complete in the next month or two.”

Splitting the site into two separate projects allowed Affirmed Housing to qualify for a bigger chunk of tax-credit financing to help pay for two projects instead of building a single project on the site, Allen said.

“It’s a good way to use land that you already have to build more units for people to live in them,” Allen said. “We’d like to do something like this again. I don’t think we have any existing sites that would work.

Fighting Rising Costs

At an April groundbreaking, San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones called Estrella “a win for the City of San Marcos and its citizens.”

Rebecca Jones
Mayor
City of San Marcos

“Between Estrella and the adjacent Alora development and working with outstanding community partners to help ensure smooth project delivery, we are adding nearly 200 units for working families and low-income residents, and all within walking distance of many public services, stores and other businesses,” Jones added.

Partnering with Affirmed Housing in building Estrella are the City of San Marcos, San Diego County, the affordable housing investment firm of WNC, Banner Bank, DAHLIN Group Architecture Planning, Mason & Associates Planning Engineering Survey, and form/work Landscape Architecture.

HA Builder Group, based in El Cajon, is the general contractor.

Although similar in size, Estrella wound up costing more than Alora, in part due to rising interest rates and the cost of materials, Allen said.  She said that Estrella will cost about $530,000 per apartment to build compared to about $400,000 per apartment for Alora.

“We’re always battling construction rates going up and the interest rates are a huge challenge,” Allen said. “Interest rates are making things difficult for us right now.”

Over the past several months, Allen said that the interest rates on Affirmed Housing projects have gone from about 3.5% to 6.5%.

At the same time, she said construction costs have increased about 20%.

Estrella will have 46 one-bedroom apartments of 555 square feet, 24 two-bedroom apartments of 800 square feet, and 26 apartments of 1,040 square feet.

The apartments will be earmarked for low-income families with annual incomes between 30% and 80% of the area median income, set at $39,050 to $93,700 for a family of four.

Depending on tenant income, monthly rents will range from $732 to $1,952 for one-bedroom apartments, $875 to $2,342 for two-bedroom apartments, and $1,015 to $2,707 for three-bedroom apartments.

The project will have 171 parking spaces, eight of which have electric vehicle charging stations.

Shared amenities will include a kitchenette, computer room, barbecue area, bicycle parking, four tot lots and a teen recreation area.

Affirmed Housing

FOUNDED: 1992
CEO: Jim Silverwood
President: Jimmy Silverwood
Headquarters: Sabre Springs
Employees: 28
Website: www.affirmedhousing.com
Contact: 858-679-2828
Social impact:  The company supports the San Diego Housing Commission, the Boys & Girls Club, Compass for Affordable Housing and People Assisting the Homeless.
Notable: Since 1992, Affirmed Housing has financed more than $2.5 billion in affordable housing projects and has more than 5,500 apartments developed or under development in 70 communities.

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