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September 23, 2020
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Planned Res Development to Bring 600 Units to Santa Ana


Wermers Properties has announced plans for a 601-unit residential property in Santa Ana, whose design was inspired by the adjacent Santa Ana Zoo and Prentice Park. The project, Santa Ana First Street Apartments, was designed by TCA Architects.

Located at First Street and Elk Lane, Santa Ana First Street Apartments will bring 601 new apartment homes and 18.5k sf of commercial space to the eastern edge of Santa Ana. Its completion is estimated for 2020.

According to Michael Mindlin, Principal and Studio Director with TCA Architects, “The design for Santa Ana First St. Apartments is inspired by how we inhabit and explore the natural realm. The community will connect with the Prentice Park neighborhood through the creation of private and public spaces. Natural wildlife elements seamlessly interact with the architecture, and the expansive use of natural materials throughout the apartment community create an intriguing and unique conservatory-like atmosphere.”

The conservatory design concept, as TCA Architects has termed the community’s architecture, spotlights a richness of material, form, shade, and shadow to create a unique engagement with nature. The apartments offer walkable green spaces between commercial, dining and recreational options, creating an engaging community for residents that will combine the textures, sounds, and natural fauna of the zoo with contemporary residential living.

The design features large windows and “perches” through which residents will be able to view the animals and nature at the zoo, much like a tree-house at the edge of a savannah. The apartments offer ground level units that spill into spacious front setbacks defined by lush landscaping. According to Mindlin, “A dedicated central courtyard built between the buildings is designed for neighborhood events and residents to promote community togetherness. Playful and engaging landscape elements such as sculpture gardens encourage wanderlust and adventure.”

The project’s entrance at the intersection of First Street and Elk Lane will be dominated by a grand, multi-story glass “lantern” with verdant living walls showcasing the natural relationship between nature and architecture. This iconic element will become a landmark element announcing the entrance into Santa Ana from the east and from the freeway… and a very cool view of the evening fireworks from Disney Land. The community’s commercial space located beneath the “lantern” will further activate the streetscape along First Street.

In addition to the sights and sounds of the adjacent zoo and park, residents of Santa Ana First Street will enjoy a full complement of amenities including two resort style pools, two fitness centers, a yoga room, a resident club house cabana, an art gallery, resident lounge, and multiple outdoor BBQs and gathering spaces.

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