SAN MARCOS, Calif. – National CORE and the City of San Marcos today celebrated the grand opening of the highly anticipated Westlake Village Apartment community, the capstone of a 15-year revitalization of the city’s Richmar neighborhood.
The 106-unit, mixed-use development serves low-income families and features retail space and a 4,000-quare-foot community center housing an after-school program computer lab and preschool.
“Our mission at National CORE is to transform lives and communities, and there is no better example than Westlake Village,” said Steve PonTell, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Southern California-based non profit developer of affordable and senior housing.“Westlake Village culminates years of work by CORE and the City in turning around a troubled neighborhood, and in the process giving residents hope.”
Said San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond, “The City is proud to partner with National CORE on meaningful developments like this one, which breathe new life into our neighborhoods.”
Since 1997, National CORE and the City have partnered to reclaim Richmar, San Marcos’ oldest and most challenged neighborhood. Westlake Village is the fourth CORE development in the neighborhood, and sits on the site of the former Buena Vista apartments, notorious for drug dealing and other illegal activities.
The state-of-the-art structure incorporates Crime-Free Multi-Family Housing design elements, including high-end neighborhood lighting, added sidewalks and improved visibility and access for law enforcement and emergency vehicles. The building also qualifies for Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.
A centerpiece of Westlake Village is the Community Center, featuring an onsite preschool, an After School and Beyond program that includes homework tutoring and peace-building training, and financial literacy and career-building programs for adults. The center will serve a one-half-mile radius that includes other National CORE properties and the community at large.
Average rents for Westlake Village are $662 for a one-bedroom unit, $827 for a two-bedroom unit and $9033 for a three-bedroom unit – well below the market-rate averages for San Marcos ($1,206 for a one-bedroom, $1,350 for a two-bedroom, and $1,467 for a three-bedroom.
The project also embodies the revitalized Richmar neighborhood’s “smart-growth” approach, consolidating housing, retail outlets, educational facilities, community services and employment opportunities, all easily accessible to the region’s transportation network.
“That area has undergone a transformation, and is still in the process of transforming,” said John Taylor, CORE’s Assistant Vice President of Construction. “With the help of the city and developers like National CORE, it has really become a family community for people of modest means. The city, through partnerships like this, has done a great job of transforming Richmar.”


About National CORE, Hope through Housing National CORE, based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior and market-rate units in California, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. Over the past two decades, its Hope through Housing subsidiary has provided more than 2 million hours in supportive services to enhance quality of life, including preschool, afterschool, senior wellness and upward mobility programs. For more information on both organizations, please visit
Contact:   Steve Lambert, The 20/20 Network
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