Project Type: Multifamily, Affordable
Total Units: 60
Typical Unit Size: 900-1000 sf
Site Size: 2 Acres
Developer: Mercy Housing California
Regional Location: The Vineyard is located in downtown Anaheim, at Vine Street and Broadway, and lies within the Anaheim Colony Historic District.
Surrounding Land Uses: Across from The Vineyard, construction has begun on the first phase of the 40-acre Colony Park residential neighborhood, which will provide 339 for-sale townhomes, including 34 affordable units. As with The Vineyard, Colony Park consisted of former industrial properties, which the Agency acquired, remediated and converted to a residential use.
Product Type Information: The Vineyard consists of 2 and 3 bedroom units.
Project Description: The Vineyard apartment development is the direct result of Anaheim’s desire and commitment to address the affordable housing needs of its community, and serves as an example of how to create future affordable housing opportunities. There are various elements which make The Vineyard a model for successful affordable workforce housing development, including: a strong public-private partnership, use of zoning ordinances that promote affordable housing development, environmental remediation, and extensive community participation. Each of these elements contributed to the overall success of the development, and continue to be used to develop additional affordable housing in Anaheim.
Planning and Site Background: The Vineyard project is the first 100 percent affordable development to be produced under the City’s Affordable Housing Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan sets a goal of 1,328 affordable units to be produced by FY 2009/10. The Vineyard project is one of several developments proposed in the area as part of the Agency’s efforts to revitalize the Historic Downtown. Efforts to revitalize the downtown area include the introduction of new commercial and home ownership opportunities.
Approval Process: The 2-acre project site was an assemblage of four parcels with industrial uses. The combined site had soil contamination issues, and the Agency and MHC undertook an extensive remediation of the soil to allow for residential development of the site. A portion of the funding for clean-up was provided by an Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) grant meant to provide assistance with soil remediation costs for housing projects. The Agency reimbursed MHC approximately $162,000 for remediation of the site from EPA fund proceeds.
In addition to environmental challenges, development of the site for a residential use was difficult due to the adjacency of a rail line. The rail line runs along the westerly boundary of the site. Because it is an active line which runs several times per day, overcoming the safety and noise concerns associated with a residential development was difficult. As part of the entitlement and building design process, the developer made every effort to mitigate impacts associated with the rail line by incorporating substantial noise reduction measures into the project. A sound attenuation plan was also approved by the City that provided noise and vibration mitigation in the building design. Additionally, the City is working with the rail road to introduce a Quiet Zone in this area to provide additional noise mitigation that will benefit The Vineyard project and overall neighborhood.
Given that the property is located within the Anaheim Colony Historic District, Agency staff worked with the developer and the Anaheim Colony Neighborhood Council (“ACNC”) during the negotiating period to gain approval of the site plan and building design. The ACNC is a very organized and vocal community group that ensures that a developments design and architecture fit in with the general context of the neighborhood. Because of this, careful consideration was given to incorporate a project design that considered the historic residential area surrounding the site. The developer held numerous community meetings with residents in the neighborhood to allow for input and participation in the design process, ultimately gaining their support.
Under the terms of the Affordable Housing Agreement (“Agreement”) with MHC, the Agency maintained ownership of the land through a 55 year ground lease. MHC will manage the property with Agency oversight to ensure compliance with the Agreement. The developer obtained Tax Credit funding from the California Tax Credit Allocaton Committee in the amount of $14,000,000. The Agency purchased the land for $2,650,000 which saved MHC money in land costs. The Agency also provided predevelopment funds to MHC in the amount of $75,000 for architectural services and approved a contingency loan in the amount of $2,100,000 should the project need additional funds to complete the project. MHC also obtained $240,000 in Affordable Housing Program (AHP) funds and $162,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for remediation of the site. Other project funding came from private loans for approximately $2,910,000. MHC deferred a portion of their developer fee in the amount of $350,000.
Lessons Learned: The Vineyard is successful on both counts, it is also successful in that it has become a catalyst for continued affordable development throughout Anaheim. In fiscal year 2006/07, more than 1,031 new affordable rental and for-sale market rate housing units were under contract or under construction. It is anticipated that the Redevelopment Agency will assist in the creation of an additional 906 affordable rental units and 306 market rate units between 2007 to 2010.
More importantly, The Vineyard model of development has been replicated by other developers throughout the City. Monarch Pointe (63 units), Elm Street (52 units), and Diamond Street (25 units), are three affordable housing developments that have successfully utilized many of The Vineyard’s same entitlement, remediation and community outreach approaches. All of these projects are presently under construction.
Product Design: The development consists of two and three bedroom apartments, with unit sizes ranging from 825 to 942 square feet for the 2 bedroom units, and 1,006 to 1,091 square feet for the 3 bedroom units. Designed in a historic Craftsman style, The Vineyard complements the surrounding historic neighborhood and fits in with the overall context of the community.