Studio E Architects is happy to announce that construction on Mesa Commons – our 78-unit affordable family housing project for San Diego’s College Area community – is officially underway! A groundbreaking ceremony for the project, hosted by client Palm Communities, was held on-site earlier this month, and included speeches from Rick Gentry of the San Diego Housing Commission and members of the Palm Communities team.
Featuring a mix of two- and three-story buildings on El Cajon Boulevard near San Diego State University, Mesa Commons will enliven a long-vacant 4.08 acre parcel along the Boulevard’s edge and provide much-needed affordable housing for families in Mid-City San Diego. The community will serve 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 are arranged to create a system of connected open spaces that encourage resident circulation and invite use of 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 shopping, restaurants, and public parks.
All Studio E projects begin with sustainability as a guiding principle, and Mesa Commons is no exception. 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 will exceed California Title 24 requirements by a projected 25% when construction is completed in May 2014.
Stay tuned to this space for future updates on construction progress and the grand opening celebration! For more on Mesa Commons, as well as a look at a number of other projects currently on-the-boards, click here.