Studio E Architects is proud to announce the grand opening of SolTerra – our 49-unit, senior housing community designed for Affirmed Housing Group and built by Allgire General Contractors. As the first project in the City of El Cajon’s Urban Master Plan area, SolTerra brings a bevy of affordable apartments to downtown, serving seniors aged 55-years young (and up) and earning 30-60% of area median income.
Consisting of two four-story, mixed-use buildings, the project provides a point of transition between the commercial/retail development of downtown to the southeast, and the residential neighborhoods to the northwest. The north building houses the project’s offices and a community room that opens out onto a richly-landscaped, streetfront public plaza and orange grove. The south building adds 2,000 square feet of retail space to the edge of El Cajon’s burgeoning commercial core.
The project was designed to conform to GreenPoint Rated Multifamily Guidelines and achieve United States Green Building Council LEED certification. Green features include solar thermal panels for hot water, photovoltaic arrays for on-site electricity generation, and extensive bio-retention measures to filter any stormwater collected on site – directing a precious resource back into the aquifer where it belongs, rather than losing it to runoff.
With a prime location just a short walk from the shopping, restaurants and public spaces of downtown, SolTerra will further encourage an active lifestyle amongst its residents with terrace-level community garden plots in both buildings. The project has been occupied for less than two weeks and folks are already digging in!
The planter boxes each have a built-in hose bib to make watering easy, and are elevated to seat-height for ease of maintenance. Each terrace has one planter “pre-planted” for resident use with rosemary and citrus – great for a homemade marinara or chicken limocello.
Shared outdoor living areas are wrapped in a lath screen, and furnished with lounge seating and water-spray “misters” to provide a comfortable socializing spot for residents to find relief from the summer heat. Other amenities include a fitness/music room on site and a flex car to better accommodate car-free living.
For more information on SolTerra, click here. Thank you and congratulations to everyone who helped make this community a reality!