OCEANSIDE — The long-awaited groundbreaking of the Mission Cove mixed-use affordable housing project took place on Aug. 12. The project may be the last of its kind following dissolution of California redevelopment agencies.
“This is history, this place,” Councilwoman Esther Sanchez said.
The 288-apartment unit and 60-home development will provide affordable housing for low-income families, veterans, transitional youth and seniors.
“We don’t really think enough about the challenge for housing,” Steve PonTell, National Community Renaissance CEO, said.
The Mission Cove project is a partnership between the city of Oceanside, National Community Renaissance and Community Housing Works.
Land for the project was secured in 2006, and National Community Renaissance was selected as the developer in 2010.
The project was expected to be paid for, in part, by redevelopment funds.
“When they unwound redevelopment it was almost destroyed,” Councilman Jerry Kern said. “So many times it almost came off the rails.”
Project development plans weathered the loss of redevelopment funding and were realized through accumulated HUD developer fees and creative matching funding. John Seymour, National Community Renaissance vice president of acquisitions, was credited with seeing the project through.
In addition to affordable housing there will be 10,400 square feet of retail space and the Kay Parker Family Resource Center on site.
The late Kay Parker served on the Housing Commission and was instrumental in bringing about several affordable housing projects for low-income families and seniors. Parker also worked to realize the Mission Cove project.
During the groundbreaking ceremony developers, city officials and fellow commissioners shared their gratitude for Parker’s commitment and tireless work to ensure affordable housing.
“Mrs. Parker is the angel behind it and is smiling down on us,” Sanchez said.
The project will bring in funds through apartment and retail space leases, and generate construction work and long-term jobs on site.
Construction of the Mission Cove project will take place in four phases.
Site preparation will begin by the end of the month and bulldozers are expected to be on site in September.
The second phase will build 90 apartments, retail space and the resource center.
The third building phase will add 138 apartments for seniors and veterans, senior service facilities and an organic garden.
The final phase will add 60 affordable homes. The entire project incorporates universal design to accommodate those with disabilities.
The first occupants are anticipated to move into the initial 90 apartments in 2016.