Karlovy Vary loaned $ 3.1 million for affordable housing project

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The Karlovy Vary City Council last week unanimously approved a $ 3.1 million loan to the developer of a 70-unit affordable housing project on Aviara Parkway south of Palomar Airport Road.

Bridge Housing will build a portion of the 329 Aviara Apartments affordable housing approved by the City Planning Commission in December 2020 for the main developer Summerhill Apartment Communities.

“I am delighted that this project is being implemented,” Jeff Williams, senior project manager for Bridge Housing, who has lived in Karlovy Vary for 21 years, told the city council last week. “I think this is a great addition to the community.”

Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2022 and complete in late 2023, Williams said.

The Summerhill-Bridge complex will have a total of 247 market-priced apartments, 81 available units and one manager unit. All market-priced apartments and 11 affordable apartments for middle-income tenants will be on a 7.2-acre plot west of Aviara Parkway, at the site of an agricultural packaging warehouse that will be demolished.

The 70 apartments, built by Bridge Housing, will be located on a 2.2-acre square plot east of Aviara Parkway. These units will include a manager’s apartment and 69 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for low-income and very low-income families that meet state requirements.

$ 3.1 million will come from the City Housing Trust, which has a balance of $ 13.6 million for affordable housing and projects, programs and services related to homelessness. The Bridge apartments are expected to cost about $ 31 million to build, of which about half will be funded through state and federal tax breaks.

Rentals will range from $ 600 for a studio to $ 1,700 for three bedrooms, depending on size and availability, according to a report presented by Mandy Mills, Director of Housing and Homeless Services. Market rent for apartments of the same size would be between $ 1,500 and $ 3,000.

Bridge Housing owns and operates affordable apartment buildings in California, Oregon and Washington. The company owns two apartments in Karlovy Vary: the 344-apartment Villa Loma near El Camino Real and Cassia Road and the 92-apartment Poinsettia Station Apartments near Poinsettia Coaster. Both of these projects were approved by the Karlovy Vary City Council 15–20 years ago and fully repaid the city’s housing loans.

“Both projects are in good shape and have been very well received by the community,” Mills said.

The Karlovy Vary Compulsory Inclusive Housing Program, established in 1993, requires developers to provide at least 15 percent of their apartments as affordable to low-income residents.

Since then, the city has built over 2,000 housing units, primarily apartments, for various levels of low-income families.

The Summerhill Bridge Partnership will add 81 available properties, or 25 percent of the Aviara project, to the citywide total.

Developers who do not include low-income housing in their projects must pay a premium that goes to the city’s housing trust fund. Builders who include a minimum of 15 percent can qualify for incentives such as higher density or reduced delays for their projects.

At the moment, there are 24 apartment buildings in Karlovy Vary for people who are eligible for housing with low incomes. Each complex manages its own application process and has a waiting list.

More information about affordable housing in Karlovy Vary can be found on the city’s website at www.carlsbadca.gov



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