Urban Housing Communities LLC, along with city of Escondido officials including the mayor and city council, architect KTGY Group, general contractor Competitive Edge Construction Inc., project partners and local residents, recently broke ground on the future site of The Crossings at Escondido in the Mission Park area of the city.
“This will be a beautiful project for the community that will bring change to the Mission Park neighborhood in a positive way,” says Mayor Lori Holt Pfeiler. “This project will provide wonderful opportunities for people to live in healthy, well-managed housing with easy access to schools, transportation and services.”
Designed by Irvine-based KTGY Group, the development of The Crossings at Escondido marks the transformation of a street plagued by deterioration, poverty, gangs, drugs, and overcrowding into a safe, family-friendly community.
“The Crossings at Escondido represents more than just another development by UHC,” says John Bigley, COO for UHC. “Today we see work beginning -- buildings being demolished and dirt being turned -- to make life better not just for the people who will one day live here, but for the entire community. This project is just one component of the city of Escondido’s overall plans for revitalization.”
The Crossings at Escondido will enhance neighborhood aesthetics, embrace eco-friendly design principles and offer a supportive resident services program while providing affordable family living. Formerly known as “Elder Place,” UHC successfully collaborated with the City to have the street renamed Mission Grove Place to reflect a fresh start for the neighborhood. The name Mission Grove Place was drawn from two nearby landmarks, Mission Middle School and Grove Park.
The Crossings at Escondido is the product of an effectively leveraged partnership between UHC and the city of Escondido Community Development Commission. The city committed funding by partnering with UHC to acquire the land. Subsequently, UHC secured financing through the highly competitive 9% tax credit program. Additional financing for the project was provided by Wells Fargo Bank N.A., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the California Community Reinvestment Corp.
The Crossings at Escondido will feature 38 two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath townhomes, 15 three-bedroom, two-bath flats, and two four-bedroom two-bath flats. Apartment sizes average 1,200 sq ft. Each unit will offer Energy Star appliances, central heat and air conditioning, a covered patio or balcony, washer/dryer hookups, high speed internet access and be wired for cable TV. Community amenities include a recreation room with a computer lab, media center and kitchen, picnic areas and two playgrounds.
KTGY Group says The Crossings at Escondido was designed not only to complement the surrounding neighborhoods but also with a vision to create a higher standard for affordable housing. With a pedestrian friendly emphasis, each residence is provided with private, ground floor entries located among generous landscaped spaces. These “outdoor rooms” are provided in a variety of configurations from the more intimately scaled spaces intended for passive recreation to the centrally located playground and lawn for active recreation.
Proposed to reflect the historic precedent in Escondido, the architecture is designed with a Craftsman style in mind. Details such as deep roof overhangs, porch columns, horizontal siding placement and accent shutters emphasize the simplicity of detailing. These three-story building facades are articulated with ridge/eave breaks as well as one- and two-story massing not only to provide a varied street scene but also to step the building down to a pedestrian scale.
Sustainable elements of the project include 75% of the construction and demolition waste being recycled; exceeds California’s Title 24 energy efficiency standards by 15%; solar panels to generate electricity for the common areas and outdoor lighting; radiant barriers under the roof sheathing; water-saving fixtures in the kitchen and bathrooms; dual flush toilets; tankless water heaters; Energy Star rated lighting, appliances, windows and sliding glass doors; low-VOC paints, adhesives and finishes, and low dust stucco; building materials that contain recycled content, do not emit harmful chemicals and are manufactured in environmentally-friendly plants; products fabricated from engineered wood; and furniture, barbeques and trash receptacles made from recycled content.
UHC has selected non-profit social service provider, Western Community Housing, to provide health and wellness services, educational classes, job attainment assistance, life skills training, youth programs, and community-building activities.The Crossings at Escondido will be home to 55 families earning 30% to 60% of the area median income for San Diego County. Rents will range from $557 to $1,124 per month based on family size and income level.