Community HousingWorks is starting construction on Cortez Hill Apartments, a five-story affordable housing project in the Cortez Hill neighborhood that will have 88 apartments.
Cortez Apartments is on the site of a former Days Inn at 901 Beech St., which until 2020 had been used by the city as an emergency shelter for homeless persons and has been vacant since.
“It was an eyesore, it was a security problem site for the neighboring residents,” said Jackie Oh, associate director of development for Community HousingWorks.
The project will have 79 one-bedroom apartments and nine two-bedroom apartments. They will range from an average of 560 square feet for one-bedroom units to an average of 750 square feet for two-bedroom units, Oh said.
Amenities will include laundry rooms, a computer lab, a community room and kitchen, a courtyard with barbecue areas, a children’s play area, and bicycle storage.
Because it’s located near transit, Cortez qualified to have no parking.
“It’s our first zero-parking project,” said Stephen Swiecicki, vice president of Community HousingWorks.
The lack of parking shouldn’t be an issue because a survey of the area “showed that there was a preponderance of folks that walked and biked, not only to work, but for recreation and regular day-to-day living,” Swiecicki said, adding that a trolley stop was within walking distance.
Of the 88 apartments, one will be set aside for a manager, 14 will be for chronically homeless persons, and 73 will be for low-income persons who are not homeless.
Financing for the $45-million project included up to $21.2 million in tax-exempt Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds and $10.2 million in taxable bonds issued through the San Diego Housing Commission, a loan of up to $5 million from the Housing Commission, $1.8 million from the federal HOME Investment Partnerships Program, nearly $1.7 million from the city’s Affordable Housing Fund, and $41.5 million from the state Local Housing Trust Fund.
Working on the project were Stephen Dalton Architects, Landscape Design Group, Highland Construction Services, and PLS Engineering.
CEO: Sean Spear
Headquarters: Mission Valley
Business: affordable housing developer and owner
Notable: Community HousingWorks owns more than 4,100 affordable apartments in 46 communities in California and Texas, serving nearly 10,000 working families, children and seniors.