A Los Angeles modular housing developer is planning to build workforce housing projects in four San Diego neighborhoods.
The projects by Impact Housing in Stockton, North Park, the College Area and Barrio Logan would include a total of 1,330 apartments and cost an estimated $350 million in total development costs, said Drew Orenstein, CEO of Impact Housing.
Orenstein said he chose San Diego for the projects because the city has adopted zoning regulations that make it attractive to build low-income and middle-income housing in urban neighborhoods.
“We are constantly reacting to what’s available in the market in terms of where we can find sites to develop,” Orenstein said. “Beyond that, we do follow good housing policy and San Diego’s leadership has definitely identified that one of the biggest roadblocks to healthy development, especially at a fair price, is good housing policy.”
The first project to be built would be a five-story apartment building with 34 apartments in Stockton at 3167 Market St.
“We’ve been working on that project for really the last six to nine months, and construction will be starting here shortly,” Orenstein said, adding that construction will be finished in about a year.
Next up would be a 72-unit apartment building in North Park at 2911 Adams Ave. and a 324-apartment project in the College Area at 6440 El Cajon Blvd., both scheduled for completion in 2024.
The most ambitious of the four projects is what Impact Housing is calling Logan Yards in Barrio Logan at 1521 National Ave.
Logan Yards would have 900 apartments with the first phase of 570 apartments scheduled for completion in 2025.
To be built on a nearly four-acre vacant lot, Logan Yards would include more than 10,000 square feet of commercial space along National Avenue and 32,000 square feet of green space, including a paseo and rooftop terraces.
The projects are made of modular units that are manufactured in Yorba Linda, trucked to San Diego, then stacked on top of and next to each other.
“The easiest way to think of it would almost be like it’s like an RV (recreational vehicle) that doesn’t have wheels and then you’re building the RV off site, and then you’re stacking the RVs up on top of each other. And then a majority of the work’s been done already at the RV plant,” Orenstein said.
The modular units are six-sided boxes, “almost like Lego pieces, if you want to think of it that way,” Orenstein added. “The interiors are completely finished, so we have everything from our fixtures and our finishes put in, the fridge’s in the stove is in, the air conditioners are in.”
The completed apartments come in one-bedroom, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom models.
Impact Housing has yet to determine what the monthly rents will be, but Orenstein said they’ll be targeted at low- and middle-income tenants.
“It’s individuals that make, say, between about $45,000 a year and then from there on up, so you’re talking about full time, fully employed, 40 hour-work week workforce, so everything from teachers to healthcare workers, city staff, you name it,” Orenstein said.