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2008 MFE Awards Merit: Affordable

The dirt under Almaden Apartments had been a lot of different things in past lives?a winery, a car wash, heavy equipment wrecking and storage facilities, and a bingo parlor. But it would be hard to argue that there isn't a greater community need that the 226-unit property fills today. It's a 100 percent affordable apartment complex that looks market-rate with mix of stucco and wood siding and attractive gabled roof treatments with below-podium secured parking.

Developed by MacFarlane Costa Housing Partners, the project features garden-style architecture and three-bedroom units that range in price from $951 to $1,584 per month. Today, the building is 100 percent occupied.