The latest affordable senior apartment project from Los Angeles-based Meta Housing is the 81-unit Cantabria Senior Apartments in Panorama City, Calif. When the property opens in the spring of 2009, the developer's hope is that residents will want to leave the house.

“It is designed to keep seniors active so they are not just sitting in their apartments watching TV,” says Ken Stockton, principal architect and owner of Woodland Hills, Calif.-based Stockman Architects, which worked with Meta on the project. “We designed living and outdoor spaces that are private and easy to access so they will get out. We try to give them enough different things they can do.”

The Spanish-style project will include a community center, computer lab, fitness center, barbecues, and a lushly landscaped courtyard as well as on-site fitness, arts, and social activities. The units will range from 600 square feet to 800 square feet for seniors over age 55 who earn between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. That equates to monthly rents between $382 and $798 for one-bedroom apartments and $454 to $954 for two-bedroom units.

Meta Housing was able to finance the $31 million project through the city's redevelopment agency, the Los Angeles Housing Department, Red Stone Equity Partners, and Citibank Community Development, says Kasey Burke, Meta's vice president. He adds that the key to finding enough money was to get the local municipalities on board early.

“Financing was difficult, especially the tax credits,” Burke says. “But the more local money you have, the easier it is. We had $9 million in soft money that helped us get the tax credits.”

  • Denver: Alliance Residential Co. is developing Broadstone at Parker Station, a 212-unit luxury apartment community near the Nine Mile light rail station. The property will offer one-, two-, and three-bedroom units. Amenities will include a clubhouse with a game room, fitness center, pool, spa, and sundeck. Also, in Thornton, Colo., 10 miles north of downtown Denver, Alliance is building the 385-unit Broadstone Thornton. The garden-style community will feature one-, two-, and three-bedroom units and offer a clubhouse, fitness center, business center, and children's playroom.
  • Atlanta: Cortland Partners has broken ground on the 222-unit Avalon Ridge Apartments. The $26.6 million, mixed-income community will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom units offering granite countertops, wood cabinetry, brushed nickel hardware, and washer/dryer connections. Amenities will include a pool, fitness center, business center, and community room. Occupancy is scheduled for this summer.
  • Newcastle, Wash.: Lorig, along with the City of Newcastle and King County Library System, is planning a mixed-use development that will combine a 10,000-square-foot King County Library with 80 apartment units, a pedestrian-friendly public plaza, coffee shop, and structured parking. The apartments will include a mixture of market-rate and workforce housing units for nurses, police, library staff, and teachers. Construction is planned for fall 2008.
  • Long Island City, N.Y.: CGS Developers is converting a Pennsylvania Railroad power station into The PowerHouse, a 177-unit condo community. The project, designed by Karl Fischer, will offer residents an Aqua Grotto—a custom-designed spa space with a large whirlpool, exotic waterfall, and massage services. Additional amenities include a screening room, fitness center, rooftop deck, lounge with billiards, and children's play area. Units range from 600 square feet to more than 1,700 square feet and are priced from about $450,000. Occupancy is scheduled for July 2008.
  • Henderson, Nev.: American Nevada Co. and The Vista Group entered a joint venture partnership with Place Properties to develop Midtown Place for students of the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. The project will offer 3,000 suites with designer furnishings, full size washers and dryers, and high-speed Internet ports in every bedroom. Amenities will include neighborhood retail, a fitness center, cyber lounge, tanning domes, and pool with cabanas and an outdoor dining area. Phase one is scheduled to break ground this year.
  • Lancaster, Calif.: Jamboree Housing Corp. has opened Laurel Crest Apartments, a 72-unit workforce housing community in the city's downtown transit village redevelopment area. The two- and three-bedroom units are available to families earning from 40 percent to 60 percent of the area median income. The project exceeds Title 24 energy-efficiency standards by more than 19 percent through the use of Energy Star appliances and green building initiatives.
  • Arlington, Va.: AHC has broke ground on a 10-unit affordable condominium community at 2900 South 17th Street. The units are targeted at first-time homebuyers with incomes below 80 percent of the city's median income. The two- and three-bedroom units will feature two baths, large kitchens, combined living and dining rooms, balconies, and carport parking.
  • Aventura, Fla.: Sky Development is developing City Park Aventura, a 7.5-acre mixed-use project with 53 townhomes, 51 two-story condos, ground-floor retail, a Class A office building, and a 198-room hotel. Residences will feature European-style kitchen cabinetry, stainless steel appliances, porcelain flooring, and impact-resistant windows and doors. Prices start in the mid-$500,000s. Phase one will break ground in the first quarter of this year.
  • —Listings compiled by Rachel Z. Azoff