Featuring a mix of two- and three-story buildings on El Cajon Boulevard near San Diego State University, Mesa Commons enlivens a long-vacant 4.08 acre parcel along the Boulevard’s edge and provides much-needed affordable housing for families in Mid-City San Diego. The community serves large families making between 30 and 60 percent of area median income – the equivalent of $24,200 to $48,360 per year for a household of four – with monthly rents varying from $542 to $1,253 depending on applicant income, household size, and apartment square footage.
With façades of alternating horizontal and vertical masses, an artfully-varied materials palette, and low-sloping roofs behind crisp parapets, Mesa Commons projects a warm, contemporary-urban feel to the street. The project provides a point of transition between the commercial & retail development along El Cajon Boulevard and the older single-family residential neighborhoods to the north and west of the site. As such, the project’s site design takes care to reduce and humanize the perimeter building scale, and conceal parking from view.
Within the site boundaries, the development’s thirteen residential buildings were arranged to create a system of connected open spaces to encourage resident circulation and invite users to enjoy the project’s common areas and amenities. These include a fitness center, computer room, picnic areas and tot lots on-site. Off-site, the list of amenities continues – as Mesa Commons boasts a prime location just a short walk from the College Area’s wealth of shopping, restaurants, and public parks.
At Studio E Architects, all of our projects begin with sustainability as a guiding principle, and Mesa Commons is no exception to the rule. The project was designed to conform to GreenPoint Rated Multifamily Guidelines, incorporating such features as: a photovoltaic system designed to offset 50% of the project’s energy consumption; Energy Star appliances; water-saving plumbing fixtures; fluorescent lighting, energy-efficient windows with low-E glazing; a “cool” roof; and low VOC, formaldehyde-free, & recycled construction materials. These measures combine to create a community that exceeds California Title 24 performance requirements by a projected 25%.