Construction Begins on Florida Street HousingWorks Apartments

Florida Street Apartments
  • Florida Street Apartments

For many years there were rotting bungalows along Florida Street, between University Avenue and Robinson Avenue. The San Diego Housing Authority gave a loan of $4,900,000 over two years ago to Florida Street Housing Associates, L.P. This paid for the one-acre site at 3783-3825 Florida Street. The slums were torn down in 2010, and the site has been protected by a chain link fence ever since.

On August 2, construction began on the affordable Florida Street Apartments, a partnership with the nonprofit Community HousingWorks of Escondido. The tax credit investor limited partner is Union Bank, a “$50,000 and above” contributor to Community HousingWorks in 2010.

Here's the good news. There will be a new 83-unit low-income apartment complex in North Park in about 16 months. The 24 one-, 33 two- and 26 three-bedroom apartments will rent for $727 to $1,118 a month, considerably below market rate.

But low-income housing projects in San Diego have been criticized for costing too much. The Housing Authority reports total development costs to be $31 million. Funds are coming from the four-percent tax credits, tax-exempt housing bonds, and financing from the housing commission and San Diego Redevelopment Agency.

Stephen Brown owns a condo on Florida Street, south of the site. Brown said, “I'm glad that some decent housing will replace the dirt lot, dirt being an improvement over the terrible shacks previously on the property.”

Proposed sustainable features in the four-story wood-frame structure include “photovoltaic panels, high-efficiency central boilers, and enhanced unit ventilation.”

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I see the U-T ran a story today (Oct. 21), reporting on the groundbreaking as if the project just now started. They were only 2.5 months late with this story. Obviously, no reporters at the U-T ever drove down Florida St. (below University Avenue) before.

Escondido (or was it someother north county muni??) built a low cost/section 8 type housing complex a few years back, a very fancy and nice one, it was horribly mismanaged and destroyed within 24 months, wish I could recall the name of that one....

Update: According to the Community HousingWorks website, the complex (now called Kalos) is scheduled for completion in December.

I'm so happy to see this project on Florida Street. It will help light up a dark section of the street with much improved housing.

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