C&C Development and the City of Santa Ana teamed up to provide LEED Gold housing for growing families
By Abby Pittman
Orange County has been in the news regularly as of late for its lack of affordable housing. As home prices skyrocket, many potential buyers are pushed out of the competitive market, and forced to rent in underdeveloped or dangerous neighborhoods, where the housing options are outdated and inefficient. C&C Development has addressed those challenges with their new LEED Gold certified property, Andalucía Apartments.
Andalucía is a 70-unit apartment community located on a 2.26 acre urban infill site in Santa Ana, CA. Completed in the spring of 2017, its creation was somewhat unique; Andalucía is the first workforce housing development in Santa Ana’s Harbor Mixed-Use Corridor. C&C Development partnered with the City to help realize its Harbor Plan, which seeks to establish a more livable and sustainable urban corridor along Harbor Boulevard by creating zoning that provides for new housing and mixed-use developments.
Andalucía gets its name from the famous Spanish region, the architecture of which it adopts for a striking street presence on the busy boulevard. As the first project in the Harbor Plan, the community needed to set an exemplary architectural standard for future residential projects. Simultaneously, Andalucía’s design needed to establish a visual connectivity with the surrounding neighborhoods and commercial areas. This created a unique dilemma for the team.
Todd Cottle, Principal at C&C Development, said, “Because of the project’s highly visible urban location, C&C Development and Orange Housing Development worked handin- glove with the City of Santa Ana’s planning and housing departments to ensure that the city’s vision for the Harbor Plan was fully realized by Andalucía’s exemplary design and construction, location, quality, and affordability. In every respect, this is a true public/private partnership.”
The team employed a “front door” architectural design that creates a sense of welcome when viewed from any of the three bordering streets. Despite the tight urban infill location, Andalucía’s architecture grants it a distinct and vivid character.
The Andalucía Apartments are marketed towards growing families who want quality features and amenities without paying the high market rate for them. The community boasts ample outdoor space for active kids, including a tot lot and barbeque pavilion. Families can also enjoy a 3,195 square foot resident center with a kitchen, computer lab, and lounge.
The community’s outdoor spaces are integral to their small environmental footprint. Cottle detailed, “The site is fully landscaped throughout with drought resistant shrubs and trees to provide aesthetic value, shade, and to aid in the reduction of water runoff. To enhance its sustainability footprint, the property incorporates grass bio swales and filtera units, and is served by a water-efficient irrigation system.” The location also allows residents to cut back on personal vehicle usage; Andalucia is close to bus stops, grocery stores, schools, pharmacies, and retail stores.
The apartments themselves are no less environmentally friendly. The residences are located within four, three-story buildings on the property, designed as garden style walkups to further enhance their Mediterranean aesthetic. All floor plans are threebedroom units, ranging slightly in size from 1,022 to 1,050 square feet. The interiors contain a host of energyefficient, green features, including ENERGY STAR appliances, low-e windows, water-saving fixtures, LED lighting, low VOC paint, formaldehydefree insulation, energy-efficient HVAC units, solar hot water heaters, and more. The residences are so energy-efficient, in fact, that they exceed Title 24 CalGreen Standards by at least 30 percent.
C&C has proved the power of public-private partnerships with Andalucia’s low rental price. In spite of all its high quality features and sophisticated design, the community remains affordable for growing families, with rents starting at $1450 per month. The apartments are rented to families earning between 50 percent and 110 percent of the Area Median Income. Cottle explained, “The project’s public-private partnership structure allowed for highly creative financing that is key to its affordability. Financing consists of a Bank of America conventional loan, California Community Reinvestment Corporation Loan, the City of Santa Ana HOME Funds and Neighborhood Stabilization Funds, and four percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits.”
Andalucia is only the first installment in C&C Development’s relationship with the City of Santa Ana. In conjunction with Orange Housing Development, they recently celebrated the grand opening of the Depot at Santiago, another workforce housing property located across from the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center and the prospective OC Streetcar line. This transit-oriented community adds 70 more affordable housing units to the city in a historically underserved neighborhood, along with more compelling architecture to improve the local streetscape.
With the introduction of these homes to the Orange County housing market, C&C has shown that quality, affordability, and sustainability can go hand in hand. Their partnership with the City of Santa Ana will continue to benefit lower-income families for years to come.
Abby Pittman is Head Editor for Green Home Builder Magazine. She can be reached at email@example.com
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