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December 4, 2023
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Affordable Housing Project in Chula Vista Breaks Ground


A venture led by Chelsea Investment Corporation and Meridian Development just broke ground on Columba, a 200-unit affordable housing project in Chula Vista. Located on just over three acres at the northeast corner of Optima St and Solstice Ave, Columba will offer rent-restricted apartments for low-income families with incomes between 30% and 60% of the San Diego County Area Median Income (AMI).

The appartments are projected to open by year-end 2023, according to Jim Schmid, CEO of Chelsea Investment Corporation. Financing partners for the $102 mil project include Raymond James Tax Credit Fund, Citi Community Capital and the Chula Vista Housing Authority.

Columba will feature two residential buildings with four and five stories, and a two-story parking structure for 321 vehicles. Apartments will range from 585 sf to 1k sf with one to three bedrooms and one to two baths. Columba is the third affordable apartment neighborhood by Chelsea in Millenia, a 210-acre urban village being developed by Meridian Development for Stratford Land.

“One of the most basic human needs is a place to call home,” said Chula Vista Mayor Salas. “Over the past months the pandemic has exemplified the need for affordable homes as the price of housing in California continues to rise.”

The 308k sf project was designed by Joseph Wong Design Associates (JWDA) of San Diego in a modern design aesthetic in keeping with the overall design of Millenia. The stepped building faces create an attractive varied streetscape that contributes to the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere of the community. The exterior of the buildings will feature Hardie Board siding, stucco, metal panel and ceramic tile accents.

In addition to JWDA, other development team members include Emmerson Construction, Inc. of Carlsbad, the general contractor, Hunsaker & Associates of San Diego for engineering, and GMP Landscape Architecture of Carlsbad.

Interior amenities will include two community rooms, computer lab/lounge, and laundry facilities in each building. Outside, tenants will have access to two private landscaped courtyards, totaling more than 35k sf, which will feature two tot lots, a bocce court, eight barbecues with shaded picnic areas, open grass areas, and a community garden.

On-site services, which will be provided by Chelsea’s non-profit partner, Pacific Southwest Community Development Corporation (PSCDC), include adult education and skill-building classes, such as computer literacy, English as a Second Language (ESL), art, job counseling, financial literacy, health and wellness. PSCDC also offers an on-site after-school program for a minimum of 10 hours per week during the school year for school age children. This program includes tutoring, mentoring, arts and crafts and other educational enrichment activities. All services are on-site, free of charge to the residents, and conducted in the North Building community room.

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