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Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

SDSU Mission Valley Advances Affordable Housing

REAL ESTATE: $150M Chelsea Project Includes Childcare Center

Chelsea Investment Corp. has been chosen to build the first affordable housing project on San Diego State University’s Mission Valley development on the former site of Jack Murphy Stadium, also known as Qualcomm Stadium.

California State University Board of Trustees in November also approved the AvalonBay Communities’ market-rate apartment complex on the Mission Valley campus – a mixed-use project that was chosen by SDSU in October 2022 to be the first housing and retail project for the Mission Valley site, following a competitive selection process.

Big Project Will ‘Affect Generations’

“It’s so exciting to be part of something so big and something that will affect generations to come,” said Heidi Mather, Chelsea’s director of development.

Heidi Mather
Director of Development
Chelsea Development Corporation

The Chelsea Investment and AvalonBay projects are part of SDSU’s plan to build a Mission Valley campus and related development that will include 80 acres of parks and open space, four miles of bicycle and pedestrian paths, 1.6 million square feet of research and innovation space, up to 4,600 residential units, and 95,000 square feet of retail space. Ten percent of all housing built on-site at SDSU Mission Valley will be designated affordable.

“It’s all based on market conditions, but the goal is to have the entire site built-out in 15 years,” said Gina Jacobs, associate vice president of Mission Valley development at SDSU.

The Chelsea Investment and Avalon Bay projects are the start of the residential and retail portions of the overall development.

Gina Jacobs
Associate Vice President

“We’re planning to keep the pace of putting out to market a parcel or two each year,” Jacobs said.

Chelsea’s $150 million project will include a 6,220-square-foot childcare center that will be open to the community at large, as well as people who live in the affordable housing apartments.

“What’s wonderful about this broader community is you have affordable housing, you have market-rate housing, you have work opportunities that they (tenants) don’t have to leave Mission Valley,” Mather said. “You have the trolley right at your doorstep. In terms of livability for these households, it’s an amazing place to be. It’s going to be a wonderful place. Being able to provide childcare right there, that is such a wonderful amenity.”

The childcare center will be operated be operated by Episcopal Community Services.

Affordable Units Bordering River Trail

Designed by JWDA (Joseph Wong Design Associates), based in Bankers Hill, the seven-story affordable housing portion of the project will have 186 apartments, 184 of which will be earmarked for households with annual incomes averaging 50% of the area median income.

Two of the apartments will be for on-site managers. There will be 64 one-bedroom apartments, 61 two-bedroom apartments, 56 three-bedroom apartments, and five four-bedroom apartments.

Monthly rents will range from $677 to $2,192, Mather said.

The apartments will range from 540 square feet for studios to 1,180 square feet for four-bedroom units.

Amenities will include a 2,530-square-foot community room, 14,000 square feet of outdoor community space, a media center, outdoor lounge, laundry rooms, electric vehicle charging stations, parcel lockers, and outdoor play area, and a bicycle storage and repair space.

With the San Diego River Trail bordering the site, “There’s a lot of bike connectivity, so we really want to help people be able to use their bikes by having a bike storage room so they’re not having to take their bikes into their units,” Mather said.

The affordable housing project will also have 139 parking spaces, six of which will be set aside for ride-sharing services.

JWDA is aiming to achieve LEED gold certification for the building for its sustainable elements by using locally produced and recycled materials in its construction, low-flow water fixtures, energy-efficient appliances and solar panels coupled with battery storage.

The project also will have public art with artists yet to be chosen.

“We anticipate pulling in the art department at SDSU to help assess them,” Mather said.

Construction on the Chelsea project is scheduled to begin in March 2025 and be completed in June 2027.

Market-Rate, Mixed-Use Project

Based in Arlington, Virginia, AvalonBay Communities plans to erect a mixed-use building with 621 apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments. The studios and apartments will be rented at market rate.

The building will also have 30,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial space that will include a grocery store. To provide parking for residents, visitors, and retail uses, the plan includes three levels of parking to accommodate approximately 1,000 vehicles. The project will cover slightly more than four acres of the Mission Valley site.

In October of last year, the AvalonBay project was the first to be chosen after a competitive selection process for the first round of residential and retail development at SDSU Mission Valley.

Pending funding, construction of Avalon Bay’s portion of the project is scheduled to start between June 2024 and June 2025.

Chelsea Investment Corporation

Founded: 1984
CEO: Charles Schmid
Headquarters: Carlsbad
Business: developer specializing in affordable housing
Employees: 100+
Website: www.chelseainvestco.com
Contact: info@chelseainvestco.com
Notable: Chelsea Investment Corp. has invested more than $3 billion to develop more than 15,000 apartments for low-income seniors, families, people at risk of becoming homeless, and homeless veterans.

AvalonBay’s mixed-use, market-rate project was greenlit by the California State University Board of Trustees in November. Rendering courtesy AvalonBay Communities

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