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MAY 2008

Press Release

Grand Opening in San Diego

San Diego will be one step closer to fulfilling its goal of creating more affordable housing options when Gateway Apartments hosts its Grand Opening on Thursday, June 5, 2008.

Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. and will include refreshments, tours of the property and a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Guest speakers at the event will include San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and City Councilmember Ben Hueso, as well as representatives of the city’s redevelopment agency. Also on hand will be officials from the development partnership, including Michael Costa and Moe Mohanna, President and Senior Vice President, respectively, of Long Beach-based MCA Housing PartnersLLC (formerly Simpson Housing Solutions), a for-profit real estate developer; and Joseph Michaels, President of the Encinitas-based Las Palmas Foundation, a nonprofit developer of affordable housing communities.

Gateway Apartments will contribute 42 units of much-needed affordable housing in the Barrio Logan Redevelopment Project Area near downtown San Diego. Located at 1605 Logan Avenue (at 16th Street), the community features four stories built over a two-level underground garage as well as a separate community building with a clubhouse, computer learning center with free Internet access, and other amenities.

The project also features BBQ areas, tot lot and gated access. It is located near public transit, schools, child care, shopping and recreational facilities. Residents will also have access to a variety of free on-site services, including after-school programming and computer education. Gateway includes 17 two-bedroom as well as 25 three-bedroom units, ranging from 860 to 1,100 square feet. All apartments are set aside for households earning between 30% and 60% of the area median income for San Diego County as published by the Dept. of Housing and Urban Development. Monthly rents range from $498 to $1,189, well below prevailing market-rate rents in the area.

Council member Hueso called redevelopment “A very effective program in responding to the health and safety needs of constituents in blighted neighborhoods. Through projects like Gateway in Barrio Logan, we are responding to a movement that originated in the 1970s that sought to reclaim our neighborhoods from toxic industrialization.” By creating some of the first new workforce housing to be built in Barrio Logan in many years, Gateway will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of what has previously been a blighted area, while also helping preserve its appearance and culture, said Michael Costa, President of MCA Housing Partners. “It will also help address the severe shortage of affordable housing for working families in high-cost cities like San Diego,” he added.

Three-bedroom apartments are in particularly short supply for growing families, Costa noted. “Most of the larger units in the area are located in older buildings, with far fewer amenities than this community offers,” he said. “New affordable communities like Gateway are designed specifically to meet the needs of working families with children. In addition to contributing new housing stock in high-cost markets such as San Diego, our firm and our partners are creating more quality choices for these growing families.”

“We are excited about the long-awaited opening of Gateway Apartments, and about participating in the redevelopment of the neighborhood,” added Joseph M. Michaels, President of Las Palmas Foundation, a nonprofit developer which will also oversee the coordination of resident services. “Gateway is the first of three housing communities that Las Palmas is involved with in Barrio Logan. Our goal is to forge a long-term relationship with the community and to provide families with a quality, affordable home as well as critical social services.”

The Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Diego was instrumental in making the project possible, acquiring the site and providing $3.6 million in financing. The project, total development cost of which was $20.7 million, also received combined allocations of $11.37 million in federal and state low-income housing tax credits. John Maple Architects designed the community, which in addition to its numerous amenities, also includes murals and mosaics created in by local artists in conjunction with the community arts council.

Founded in 1994, MCA Housing Partners and its predecessor firms have developed and/or financed more than 28,000 units of affordable housing in hundreds of communities throughout the nation, helping to improve the lives of working families and seniors struggling with the high cost of housing.

Las Palmas Foundation, a 501©(3) nonprofit housing and development corporation, specializes in the development of affordable housing, and in enhancing the lives of residents in its communities through comprehensive social service programs. Las Palmas is based in Encinitas, Calif., and owns more than 5,000 low-income units throughout the state.