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Chula Vista Getting $170M Apartment Project

A $170 million apartment project by Ryan Cos. US that will have 480 apartments and 16,000 square feet of commercial space is about to get underway in the Otay Ranch section of Chula Vista.

The as-yet unnamed project is part of the 210-acre Millenia master-planned community and is a joint venture with Ryan Cos., MetLife Investment Management, Allstate and will be part of Allstate’s investment portfolio.

Ryan Cos. bought the 12-acre site in February from Meridian Development and Stratford Land, said Mike Mahoney, senior vice president of real estate development. Mahoney declined to say how much they paid for it.

Meridian Development is overseeing the overall development of Millenia and has projects of its own in Millenia, including the 126-townhome Pinnacle Millenia and a 12,500 square-foot fire station for the city of Chula Vista.

Capital Partners

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MetLife Investment Management and Allstate are Ryan’s capital partners in the project, Mahoney said.

Ryan Cos. expects to break ground this summer with the first of eight buildings opening in late 2020.

Preleasing will start in August 2020.

Starting such a large project in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic might seem odd, but Mahoney said he’s confident that the project will have little trouble attracting tenants.

“We have a consistent housing shortage in Southern California, specifically San Diego County,” Mahoney said. “Rental housing is still the most affordable entry into housing in San Diego County and we believe long term the demand and demographics are going to be there.”

Competitive Rents

With 480 apartments ranging from 626 square feet to 2,336 square feet, Mahoney said the project is designed to attract a wide range of tenants.

Rents will be competitive, Mahoney said, but he declined to give figures.

“They’ll meet the market at that time,” Mahoney said. “We feel they’re going to be competitive in San Diego in terms of what the residents are going to get in terms of amenities, finish levels and community amenities.”

Amenities include a 3,656 square-foot indoor-outdoor fitness center, a 3,132 square-foot cyber café and coworking space, and a 1,800 square-foot clubroom and game lounge.

The project will have a speakeasy, a music studio, two dog runs and two community gardens.

“Passive Park”

It also will have 10,000 square feet of green open space, part of which will function as sort of a passive park.

“We thought it was important to create a little bit of relief valve and not program every square foot,” Mahoney said.

The buildings will be three to four stories tall and have a mix of one, two and three-bedroom flats, two-story mezzanine lofts, live-work units and three-story townhomes.

Mahoney said the project will have more of the larger apartments than is typical, with about 60 percent of the units two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments.

“It’s a very family friendly development,” Mahoney said.

Designed by ARK Architects of Carlsbad, Mahoney said the project will have “one of the richest material palettes developed in South County with a mix of stone, wood-like material as well as stucco.”

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