National CORE breaks ground on first on-site phase of former Waterman Gardens redevelopment

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. – Construction will begin soon on the first on-site phase of the Arrowhead Grove Neighborhood Revitalization project – formerly Waterman Gardens – after ground was broken Wednesday on the $150 million to $200 million redevelopment effort.

The revitalization of the World War II-era public housing community will be phased in over the next six years, filling a housing void and serving as an economic catalyst for the neighborhood and the city.

Wednesday’s groundbreaking of Olive Meadow – the first onsite phase – came as work is finishing on the 76-unit Valencia Vista workforce housing community at Valencia Avenue and 9th Street, adjacent to the Waterman Gardens site. Valencia Vista, which is expected to open this fall, was designed in part to help ease the transition for residents of Arrowhead Grove as demolition begins.

The overall Arrowhead Grove plan calls for 411 new housing units, including the replacement of the 252 existing affordable units.

National Community Renaissance, one of the nation’s largest nonprofit builders of affordable and senior housing, is the master developer of the project, in partnership with the City of San Bernardino and the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino.

“The partnership between our three organizations has made way for a catalytic shift in the Waterman Corridor of our City,” said San Bernardino Mayor Carey Davis. “This project will contribute to the boost in quality housing, safety, economic growth and quality of life for San Bernardino residents.”

Steve PonTell, President and Chief Executive Officer of National CORE, said the redevelopment project serves a greater need, not just in San Bernardino but the region as a whole.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to address what is arguably the single biggest economic challenge we face: The lack of high-quality affordable and moderately priced housing,” PonTell said. “We applaud San Bernardino’s leadership in recognizing the importance of housing as an economic and community catalyst, and look forward to playing a vital role in the city’s transformation.”

A 2014 study by the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting concluded that construction activities will increase economic output in San Bernardino County by $81.1 million, support 1,032 jobs and pay about $46.8 million in labor income to county residents. On an annual basis, the study concluded that the project will generate more than $2.2 million in direct, indirect and induced economic activity, 31 jobs and nearly $1 million in labor income.

In addition, the project will generate millions of dollars a year in tax revenues to support vital services.

“This first on-site phase has been long awaited by many, especially the residents of this community. It’s a true catalyst for historical change in a core area of the city,” said Gustav Joslin, Assistant Executive Director of the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino. “We look forward to our continued partnership with National CORE, the City, and community.”

Dr. Tomás D. Morales, President of California State University, San Bernardino, said the university is pleased to be a partner in the revitalization of the Arrowhead Grove neighborhood.

“This project aligns with the core mission of Cal State San Bernardino, which is to transform lives – especially for those from socially and economically disadvantaged circumstances,” Dr. Morales said.  “Raising educational levels is one of the most powerful forces for improving income and economic well-being in communities.  The career training and educational services components of the new Waterman Gardens community will offer a springboard to opportunity and a pathway to a better quality of life for all those served.”

Financing for Arrowhead Grove is through a variety of private and public sources, including tax credit financing, federal HOME-Investment Partnership funds and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program. If you would like to financially support this or other projects by National CORE and its social services partner, the Hope through Housing Foundation, please visit www.nationalcore.org.

  

ABOUT NATIONAL CORE

Rancho Cucamonga-based National Community Renaissance is one of the largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing, with nearly 9,000 units across four states. Over its 24-year history, National CORE has received national recognition for its innovation and meshing of high-quality, affordable housing with transformational social services provided by its strategic partner, Hope through Housing Foundation. For more on National CORE, please visit www.nationalcore.org.

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