San Diego, Calif. — On February 17th, the California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded National Community Renaissance (National CORE), a leading developer in affordable housing, with $1 million in funding for the zero-emission affordable housing design for their upcoming Palm City Village community in San Diego. Palm City Village will be a joint development between National CORE and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS).
“Our team is extremely proud of the concept for this affordable and highly-sustainable community,” said John Seymour, National CORE’s Senior Vice President of Acquisitions and Forward Planning. “It has been a pleasure to work with MTS to imagine this forward-thinking development and we are now very excited to begin building it.”
The grant funding comes from the CEC’s ‘The Next EPIC Challenge: Reimagining Affordable Mixed-Use Development in a Carbon-Constrained Future’. The competitive solicitation challenged applicants to use cutting-edge energy technologies, tools, and construction practices to design and build a mixed-use development that is affordable, equitable, emissions-free and resilient to climate change impacts and extreme weather events. Up to $48 million in the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) funding was made available to winning applications from across four regions in the state of California. Palm City Village scored the highest in its region, which includes the Imperial Valley, Inland Empire, and San Diego County.
“Addressing the housing-affordability crisis in San Diego requires a sustained effort, with the City working alongside the private sector and other public agencies to build new homes in all communities across San Diego. With its nearly 400 affordable apartments next to a transit station, Palm City Village is an example of what we need to be doing on a constant basis to support our most vulnerable individuals and families,” San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria said. “On top of that, this win-win partnership between National CORE and MTS is also helping us reach our bold climate goals and ensure that San Diego is part of the solution to the global emergency.”
Palm City Village will be a mixed-use, transit-oriented affordable community in the Otay Mesa-Nestor neighborhood of San Diego. Located along the Palm Avenue Trolley Station, residents of Palm City Village will have direct access to MTS’s UC San Diego Blue Line Trolley, which connects riders across the county, between La Jolla/UTC and San Ysidro.
“Transit-oriented housing construction is a top priority for MTS. We have made our excess land near transit stops available for developers to build nearly 1,800 new housing units including Palm City Village and there’s more in the pipeline,” said Nathan Fletcher, Chair of MTS and the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Palm City Village will be transit-oriented, affordable, emissions-free, and climate-resilient. We are proud to be part of this collaborative and innovative project to build a healthier, more connected San Diego County.”
A mixed-use community, Palm City Village will provide 390 affordable apartment homes for low- and moderate-income individuals and families as well as ground-floor retail space for local business owners and entrepreneurs. A community center will serve as a hub for onsite resident services, programs, and events. Additional amenities will include an onsite childcare center and outdoor recreation spaces for residents.
“I am very pleased that the Palm City Village project will provide desperately needed affordable and middle-income housing for San Diegans,” said Councilmember Vivian Moreno. “As this is the first MTS joint development project on a transit station parking lot along the Blue Line, we have an opportunity to help our riders to walk, bike, or use transit to get to the station once the project is completed.”
National CORE has a strong track record of building sustainable affordable communities across Southern California. In 2021, National CORE was recognized as a LEED for Homes Power Builder by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for the third consecutive year. In 2020 and 2021, National CORE completed their first zero net energy communities, using energy from onsite photovoltaic systems to supply power. National CORE continues to push the boundaries forward in efforts to develop affordable, sustainable communities that are responsible in their relationships to the surrounding environments. National CORE will use the funding to support additional research, modeling, consulting, and integration that is necessary to meet the goals of the Next EPIC Challenge. This includes research into innovative renewable energy systems, community outreach and planning, and working with MTS on making zero-emission transit options available to residents.
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About National Community Renaissance (National CORE)
National Community Renaissance, based in Southern California, is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. National CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior, and market-rate units in California, Texas, and Florida. National CORE’s strength is in its ability to offer partners an array of in-house capabilities that navigates the complexities of planning, developing, building, managing, and providing supportive services. For more information on National CORE, please visit www.nationalcore.org.
About the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS)
MTS operates more than 100 bus routes and three Trolley lines in 10 cities and unincorporated areas of San Diego. Frequencies and spans have been restored to near-pre-COVID-19 levels. Updated schedules can be accessed on the MTS website. MTS asks that that people wear face coverings at all times and practice physical distancing when possible.
Jill Van Balen