USA Properties starts construction on Terracina at The Dunes in Marina

140-apartment community on former Fort Ord provides workforce housing for a range of income levels

USA Properties Fund has started construction on Terracina at the Dunes, an affordable apartment community in Marina that will provide much-needed housing to residents that earn a range of incomes under a state program.

The 140-apartment community will have two locations – at Imjin Parkway and 4th Avenue, and 2nd Avenue and 5th Street – that will be home to early-in-their career professionals saving for their first home to retirees living on a fixed income. The apartment communities are less than a mile apart and will share the name and staff, but each will have their own amenities, including community and fitness rooms. 

Terracina at The Dunes is the first apartment community for USA Properties in Monterey County and part of The Dunes master-planned community, a 1,237-home development on the former Fort Ord by Marina Community Partners. The Dunes features a large shopping center – including Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Old Navy stores – neighborhood restaurants and a movie theater.

“It’s a beautiful master-planned community in a high-cost market – in a coastal location” said Jatin Malhotra, Vice President of Acquisitions for USA Properties.

The beach is just a few blocks away, along with California State University-Monterey Bay, several parks and numerous schools, including Marina High School.

USA Properties Fund acquired the two parcels, 6.5 acres in total, from Marina Community Partners LLC for a nominal fee. Marina Community Partners also provided USA Properties with almost $8 million to subsidize the development of Terracina at the Dunes and make affordable housing a reality. Without the subsidy, construction of the Terracina at the Dunes would not be possible.

Jatin Malhotra portrait
Jatin Malhotra, Vice President of Acquisitions for USA Properties Fund

“Marina Community Partners is proud to join with USA Properties Fund to provide a range of housing affordability at The Dunes,” said Don Hofer, Vice President for Shea Homes and Marina Community Partners. “The Terracina at The Dunes community will provide much-needed housing for those who work in the community or those who just prefer to live close to the amenities of the Monterey Bay area. This affordable housing would not be possible without the larger Dunes project moving forward, and exhibits Shea Homes’ and Marina Community Partners’ continuing significant commitment to The Dunes master plan and the community of Marina.”

ONE COMMUNITY, TWO SITES

Terracina at The Dunes is part of a public-private partnership that includes the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), Chase Bank and WNC.

The public-private partnership was critical for the $71 million project to move forward and provide more affordable housing for low-income residents in Monterey County, where more than half of all renters are considered “cost-burdened,” spending at least 30% of their income on housing, according to the Joint Center for Harvard Studies of Harvard University.

Rents for Terracina at The Dunes apartments will be significantly less compared to nearby market-rate units in Marina – and available to residents that earn a wider range of income levels, thanks to CalHFA’s Mixed-Income Program. The state agency issued tax-exempt bonds for the project, and provided a long-term permanent loan and subsidy funds through the Mixed-Income Program.

“I am thrilled that CalHFA was able to provide significant financing to construct Terracina at The Dunes in Monterey County, where affordable housing is greatly needed,” said CalHFA Executive Director Tiena Johnson Hall. “By providing apartments for people at a mix of lower income levels, this development will allow local residents to improve their financial and housing situation without having to move away from the community they call home.”

Tiena Johnson Hall, Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA)

Marina City Manager Layne Long also applauds the project that will increase the city’s affordable housing supply by more than 30%. About 150 families are on a waiting list for the 420 affordable apartments in the beachside community. The average family waits at least four years before moving into affordable housing.

“We are excited that the Dunes development project continues to move forward, including the Terracina project,” Long said.

AFFORDABLE – AND COMFORTABLE

Terracina at The Dunes will be available for low-income residents that meet an expanded range of income limits established by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. With the program, renters earning 30% to 70% of the area’s median income – about $24,400 to $57,000 for a two-person household leasing a one-bedroom apartment – could qualify for Terracina at The Dunes.

Terracina at The Dunes residents will benefit from substantially lower rents compared to market-rate apartments in Marina. One-bedroom apartment rents will range from about $600 to $1,455 per month. Two-bedroom apartments will lease for $715 to $1,740, while three-bedroom units will rent for about $820 to $2,000.

Terracina at The Dunes is more affordable and, in many cases, will offer more amenities than nearby market-rate communities.

Both of the Terracina at the Dunes community sites – one will have 92 apartments, the other 48 – will include a community room and fitness room. Other amenities will include computer stations, a basketball court, picnic area, a tot-lot play area and laundry rooms.

Apartments will feature energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures, ceiling fans and low-flow faucets, showers and toilets.

The six three-story buildings – four on one site, two on the other – will have a coastal architecture exterior and use a range of materials, complementing the nearby single-family homes in The Dunes master-planned community. Construction should be completed in first-quarter 2024.

“Terracina’s design complements The Dunes on Monterey Bay master plan and makes a pretty significant contribution towards the growing need for affordable housing in Monterey County,” Malhotra said.

USA becomes a partner in two affordable apartment communities in Reno

All 132 apartments will remain affordable for decades and an $8 million rehabilitation is planned

USA Properties Fund has become a partner in two affordable apartment communities in fast-growing Reno, ensuring that low-income residents can remain in their homes – and will also soon enjoy the results from a multimillion-dollar rehabilitation of the properties.

USA Properties Fund becomes a partner and manager of Carriage Stone, a 55-and-older apartment community at 695 Center Street, and the former Dakota Crest community at 446 Kirman Avenue. Community Services Agency and Development Corp., a nonprofit with 13 affordable apartment communities in Reno, is the other partner.

USA Properties, one of the largest affordable apartment community developer-manager-owners in the West, doubles its number of properties in Reno with the partnership.

‘INCREDIBLE NEED TO KEEP THE APARTMENTS AFFORDABLE’

The apartment communities will share the Carriage Stone name after being packaged together in order to receive Nevada Housing Division-awarded bonds for the purchase and rehabilitation of the properties. Under the agreement, Carriage Stone’s 132 combined apartments will remain affordable housing for decades.

“Reno, like most cities in the West, is facing a critical housing shortage, especially when it comes to affordable apartment communities,” said Geoff Brown, President of USA Properties in Roseville, Calif. “We saw the incredible need to keep the apartments affordable, while also enjoying a great opportunity to expand in Reno – and Nevada.”

The apartment communities are less than a half-mile apart, close to shopping centers, restaurants, health care providers – including Renown Regional Medical Center and the VA Medical Center – and the Riverwalk District along the Truckee River.

“The apartment communities are in the heart of everything,” said Steve Gall, Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions for USA Properties. “It’s in an up-and-coming area in the midtown neighborhood.”

The central location coupled with the booming demand for housing that has prompted record-high rents in Reno caused some residents – and housing officials – to worry whether their homes would remain affordable.

“Unfortunately, many of the existing affordable housing projects in the region are being sold to for-profit investors after the affordability period ends and rents are then brought up to market rate,” said Leslie Colbrese, Chief Executive Officer of Community Services Agency and Development Corp. “The affordable housing sector is losing more properties than we are developing, and it’s tough to keep up with the private sector in terms of buying power.”

RENO IS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST HOUSING MARKETS FOR LOW-INCOME RENTERS

The affordable-to-market rate movement has forced many low-income tenants to pay much-higher rents or scramble looking for hard-to-find, lower-priced housing. For example, low-income residents applying for Community Services Agency’s affordable apartment communities have at least a two-year wait, Colbrese said.   

“We need more affordable housing not soon, but now,” she said.

Almost half of extremely low-income renters in Reno are considered cost-burdened, spending at least 30% of their income on housing, one of the highest percentages in the nation, according to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. Rents for Carriage Stone are below the 30% threshold – and significantly less than nearby market-rate properties.

And Carriage Stone apartments will “remain affordable for another three decades, and will not be brought to market rate and further diminish our already scarce supply of affordable housing,” Colbrese said.

In addition to ensuring that low-income residents have affordable housing, USA Properties and Community Services Agency will spend at least $7.9 million for the rehabilitation of the apartment communities – or about $60,000 per unit, double the minimum required.

New energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, low-flow showers and toilets, and numerous other improvements are planned for the units. The apartment communities will also get new heating and cooling systems, new roofs and other upgrades, such as improvements to the fitness room, library and TV room at the senior apartment community, and new furniture and outdoor play equipment and upgrades to the swimming pool at the other property.

“The rehab of Carriage Stone ensures the seniors and families living in these communities will be able to continue to afford a welcoming, comfortable and safe place to live,” Colbrese said.

The rehabilitation effort will be completed over an 18- to 24-month period, which will greatly reduce the impact on residents.

“We’re making a long-term investment in these apartment communities, their residents and the region,” Gall said.

USA Properties ranks among the nation’s top affordable developers, moving up nine spots in 2021

USA Properties Fund continues to climb a closely watched affordable housing owners list, and is among the leading developer-owners in the industry nationwide.

USA Properties ranked No. 32 on Affordable Housing Finance’s Affordable Housing Owners 2021 list, moving up nine spots from the previous year. The company had 11,916 affordable units in January 2021, almost 1,200 more than a year earlier.

The Roseville-based company’s fast-paced growth is attributed to developing and building more affordable apartment communities, not through acquisitions like many others on the list.

USA Properties has been aggressively building affordable housing for more than four decades and has increased production in recent years. The company has announced several affordable apartment communities during the past year, from Lancaster in Southern California to Portland, Oregon, a new market for USA Properties.


CHECKING THE FIGURES
  • USA Properties is the 32nd-largest affordable housing owner in the U.S., with more than 11,900 units in January 2021.
  • The company started construction on 375 affordable units in 2021, with another 3,000 units in some form of development.

“We’re very proud of our accomplishments and being recognized on the Affordable Housing Finance lists, which is only possible through the commitment and hard work of our team and partners,” said Geoff Brown, President and CEO of USA Properties. “We are deeply aware of the need for more affordable housing in the West, and we are working hard to meet the demand and provide quality housing and first-rate communities.”

ALMOST 400 AFFORDABLE UNITS STARTED IN 2021 — ANOTHER 3,000 ARE IN THE WORKS

Each affordable apartment community can take 18 to 24 months to build once construction starts, creating a roller-coaster-like effect on the Affordable Housing Finance’s Affordable Developers list, which ranks the number of units started during the year.

USA Properties ranked No. 45 in 2021, down from No. 13 in 2020. The company started 375 affordable units in 2021, compared to 983 units in 2020, according to the Affordable Housing Finance report.

The company has about 3,000 affordable units in various phases of development or rehabilitation from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California. USA Properties is one of the largest affordable apartment community developer-builder-manager-owners in the West.

USA Properties expanded into market-rate apartment communities several years ago, with developments in the Bay Area, the Sacramento region and Southern California. But Affordable Housing Finance only looks at affordable apartment communities for its annual list.

“We are as committed as ever to affordable housing, which has been the foundation of the company and our success,” said Brown, whose father, J.B. Brown, started the company in 1981. “But it’s very important to remember that every new home, affordable and market-rate, helps fill the incredible demand and need for more housing.”

Just some of our affordable apartment communities under construction

USA Properties Fund completes lease up of Vintage at Sycamore

As of February 28th, the lease up of Vintage at Sycamore, a 99-unit affordable senior apartment community, has been completed, a little less than a year after construction began.

This lease up was a monumental effort led by Teri Brown, Regional Manager, and Megan Underwood, Compliance Manager, who, along with their teams, processed and moved in 99 households in a 30-day period.

Vintage at Sycamore 100 percent occupied sign

In addition to the leadership of Teri and Megan, we would like to acknowledge those that worked tirelessly to lease apartments, process applications, and get the apartments and buildings ready for residents to call home. This includes:

• Madeleine Garcia, Community Manager, Vintage Crest Senior Apartments
• Joanne Salinas, Community Manager, Vintage Paseo Senior Apartments
• Daniel York, Community Manager, Avenida Crossing
• Megan Bonham, District Compliance Auditor
• Ben Viramontes, Maintenance Supervisor
• Kerry Eldredge, Senior Superintendent, USA Construction Management
• Nancy Menchaca, Assistant Superintendent, USA Construction Management
• Mark McDermott, Project Manager, USA Construction Management
• John Kozler, Senior Project Manager, USA Construction Management