Redeveloping an obsolete brownfield while dealing with opposition from local industrial property owners isn’t a place where many developers want to make their mark. Throw in the necessity for soil remediation, the redesign of parking garages in mid-construction to contend with a higher-than-expected water table, and you winnow the list of interested parties down to an extremely limited set of players.
Among them is Agoura Hills, Calif.-based AMCAL Multi-Housing, which in partnership with Encinitas, Calif.-based Las Palmas Foundation saw the 89-unit affordable Los Vientos where others only saw abandoned wasteland.
The result was worth the wait: Two four-level apartment buildings offer downtown San Diego living to residents earning only 30 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. “At the end of the day, you have happy families living in Barrio Logan just a couple of blocks from the ballpark, and from the top floor units you can even see the ocean,” says AMCAL CEO Percival Vaz.