Eco-Friendly Workforce Housing Opens its Doors

Eco-Friendly Workforce Housing Opens its Doors

IRVINE CA - KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture + Planning announces that The Crossings at Big Bear Lake recently celebrated its grand opening. Developed by Urban Housing Communities LLC (UHC), a leading developer of quality multifamily residential projects, The Crossings at Big Bear Lake is a $17 million affordable housing community for families earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income and was developed in collaboration with the City of Big Bear Lake’s Improvement Agency, Bank of America, and the project's designer, KTGY Group. The new eco-friendly community provides high-quality workforce housing and offers 42 thoughtfully-planned apartment homes ranging in size from two- to three-bedroom units. Rent ranges from $377 to $950 per month, based on family size and income level.

The Crossings at Big Bear Lake features 28 two-bedroom, two-story townhomes and 14 three-bedroom single-story flats averaging approximately 1,100 square feet. Each apartment home is well appointed and has a covered patio/balcony, central heat, ceiling fans, walk‐in closets, water‐saving kitchen and bathroom fixtures, dual-flush toilets, a gas range, washer/dryer hookups, tankless water heaters, and wiring for cable television. In addition, homes are equipped with energy-efficient lighting, windows and appliances, including ENERGY STAR refrigerators and dishwashers. The new community exceeds California’s Title 24 energy efficiency standards by 15 percent.

Other eco-friendly design features include solar panels for generating electricity to the community room and common areas, “Dark Sky” compliant exterior lighting, and flooring, railings, furniture, and trash and recycling receptacles made from recycled content, zero-VOC interior paints and low-VOC interior finishes and adhesives, building materials that contain recycled content and do not emit harmful chemicals. The general contractor for the project, SL Residential Construction of Irvine, recycled at least 75 percent of construction waste.

Located on 2.60 acres on Knickerbocker Road, between Pennsylvania Avenue and Maryland Road, south of Big Bear Blvd. (Highway 18), the community features a spacious 2,500-square-foot community room, a computer lab, a fully-equipped kitchen, a manager’s office, laundry facilities, picnic area, a playground, bike racks and landscaped courtyard areas. The community room serves as the location of a supportive services program provided by UHC’s non-profit partner, Central Valley Coalition for Affordable Housing (CVCAH). Designed to meet residents’ specific physical, educational, professional and social needs, CVCAH’s supportive services program offers health clinics, after-school tutoring, budget planning, credit counseling, resume writing, computer training, fitness/nutrition classes, and targeted youth and senior activities.

"This beautiful, new apartment community enhances the neighborhood's aesthetics, embraces eco‐friendly design principles and will offer free supportive service programs while providing affordable family living," said John Bigley, Chief Operating Officer for Santa Ana, Calif.-based UHC.  

The Crossings at Big Bear Lake is convenient to schools, public transportation, shopping, medical services, a public park and recreation areas, and is approximately a 10-minute walk from Big Bear Lake Village, the city’s premiere shopping and entertainment district.

The Crossings at Big Bear Lake represents a milestone for the City, which is home to over 6,000 full-time residents. While the City does offer some affordable housing, its stock consists mainly of aging single-family homes and one affordable senior community. The Crossings at Big Bear Lake is the City’s first affordable community targeted toward families.  

“Most people know Big Bear Lake as a vacation destination, but it’s also a city that confronts the same issues of housing, healthcare and education as more urban areas,” said Bigley. “A certain level of affordability is required to sustain the local workforce that supports the City’s year-round recreation activities that entice vacationers to the area, such as skiing and snowboarding during the winter and boating, biking and hiking in the summer. We believe the quality affordable housing offered by The Crossings at Big Bear Lake will help the City achieve its long-term goals by attracting and retaining both businesses and employees,” Bigley added.

"Situated adjacent to a new neighborhood of single-family developments and across from Big Bear Elementary School, The Crossings at Big Bear Lake was planned and designed to fit in with the image of the beautiful Big Bear Mountain community,” said KTGY's Chris Texter, AIA, LEED AP and Principal. “Heavy timber wood details can be seen in the corbels supporting the large roof overhangs that are common in Big Bear. The apartment community includes heavy timber gable end framing, stone veneer and siding. Each building is planned in such a way to respect and add to the current street scene, residences, trees and other site opportunities and are oriented around a central garden, tot lot and community center amenities for the families,” Texter added.

UHC partnered with the City of Big Bear Lake’s Improvement Agency in 2009 to increase the City’s affordable housing stock in a manner consistent with the goals of the Redevelopment Plan. The Improvement Agency committed funding through a soft loan and UHC secured financing through the highly competitive 9 percent tax credit program. Additional financing for the project was provided by the Bank of America Community Development Corporation (BACDC), Bank of America, National Equity Fund (NEF) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). 

The Crossings at Big Bear Lake is UHC’s second project to open in less than 30 days. UHC recently celebrated the grand opening of The Crossings at Escondido, a KTGY-designed residential community that features 55 high quality, affordable apartment homes for working families in San Diego County.

Urban Housing Communities LLC is a "mission driven for-profit" affordable housing development partner of Morgan Stanley and Banc of America Community Development Corporation specializing in multifamily and senior housing facilities in California and Hawaii. UHC was formed in 2003 by executives of SunAmerica and ASL Housing, and has since been joined by professionals from KB Home, CalFed Bank and the California State University System. Together, they have financed or developed over 10,000 units of housing.

Celebrating 20 years this month, KTGY Group, Inc., Architecture + Planning, provides comprehensive planning and award-winning architectural design services for residential communities, retail, hospitality, mixed-use and related specialty developments. KTGY delivers innovative solutions that reflect clear understanding of development, market trends and financial performance and takes particular pride in its highly motivated and principal led studios. Serving clients worldwide, KTGY maintains offices in Irvine, Oakland and Santa Monica, Calif., Denver, Colo., and Tysons Corner, Va.

Source: Monaghan Communications / #KTGY # Architects

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