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Construction of affordable apartment homes in Irvine begins

Jamboree Housing Corp. will oversee the 60-unit project, which will accommodate low-income families.

By Larry UrishPublished: February 11, 2011 08:00 AM

Irvine-based residential developer Jamboree Housing Corp. yesterday broke ground on Doria Apartment Homes, a rental community that will eventually open its doors to low-income families. The complex will welcome tenants who earn only 30 to 60 percent of the area's average income.

The project, the first of six Jamboree developments slated to be completed this year, is a combined venture between the company and the Irvine Community Land Trust (ICLT). The ICLT is reportedly Southern California's only land trust created in conjunction with a municipality.

The "community-land-trust leased-land" model, though relatively new to residential developments, has been used several times in the past by the city of Irvine to preserve affordability of faculty and staff housing at the University Hills community on the campus of UCI, said Laura Archuleta, president of Jamboree Housing.

"Doria is the seventh property we have developed in partnership with (Irvine) and the Irvine Co.,” Archuleta said, “and we're excited that it will be the first rental development for the ICLT."

The city of Irvine, the ICLT and the Irvine Redevelopment Agency have provided $2 million in loans, with additional funding from the County of Orange, U.S. Bank and the Orange County Health Care Agency for the $18 million development. Because several affordable-housing developers are located in the city, the ICLT has been able to focus its efforts on long-term planning, cost cutting and property management.

Mary Ann Gaido, ICLT president, said the land trust's goal is to provide 5,000 new low-cost housing units in Irvine by 2025. This figure, she noted, amounts to more than 50 percent of the city's low-income-residence projection in the next 15 years.

"The goal is to triple our inventory of affordable housing to about 9,700 units by 2025," said Irvine Mayor Sukhee Kang. "In a ... city with three jobs for every housing unit, a mix of affordability in our housing is critical to the long-term success of our economy and our community."

Phase I of the Doria project will include 60 apartment homes constructed in two- and three-story buildings built around a shared courtyard. Located at 1000 Crested Bird, about a quarter-mile from the Woodbury Town Center, the complex will include a pool, tot-lot and 3,000-square-foot community building containing a computer lab, management offices, kitchen and multipurpose room. Phase II of the development will be composed of an additional 74 units.

Dora Apartment Homes' architectural blueprint was created by Irvine-based KTGY Group Inc., and Wermers Multi-Family Corp. will serve as the project's general contractor.

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