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MULTIFAMILY NEWS
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Community Housing Opportunities Corporation Close to Moving Forward with 60-Unit Affordable Housing Project in Palm Springs

8/30/21

Community Housing Opportunities Corporation (CHOC) has unveiled the design for The Monarch Apartment Homes, a 60-unit, affordable housing community the firm is developing in Palm Springs. The project was designed by Interactive Design Corporation (IDC), a Palm Springs-based architectural firm.

Located on a 3.62-acre vacant parcel of land at the Southeast corner of N. Indian Canyon and San Rafael Drive in the Upper Westside One Palm Springs neighborhood, the property is owned by the City of Palm Springs Successor Redevelopment Agency. In partnership with the City, CHOC will develop the land with rental apartments that offer one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment homes.

Since the neighboring properties on the east side of the complex are residential homes, most of which are mid-century in design, the east side buildings will be smaller, one-story, and one-bedroom units to respect the context of the neighborhood.

Much of the local mid-century designed homes in the adjacent neighborhoods were influenced by Donald Allen Wexler, an influential architect who practiced in the desert for almost 60 years. Trained under Richard Neutra, Wexler designed banks, schools, and even the Palm Springs airport, but he is known for his home designs, many of which are found throughout the surrounding community.

“The design of this complex demonstrates that high design and affordable housing can work hand in hand,” emphasized Maria Song, AIA, LEED AP, partner with IDC, known for its award-winning concepts specifically for affordable housing development. “We’ve incorporated mid-century design elements that weave the interaction of place, people, and community together, thus knitting it into the overall City itself as a thriving neighborhood for the working families who need affordable housing.”

The first affordable housing effort in Palm Spring in twelve years, 60 units of affordable housing -- or 15 units to the acre -- is required to be built based on California’s density bonus law.

The design of $31 million complex includes sloping rooftops that mimic the monarch butterfly. It also includes natural desert plants to blend into the surrounding communities.

The property itself is designed with a tree-lined thoroughfare, aptly named Main Street, to create a pedestrian plaza. Designed in 14 separate buildings clustered to create mini neighborhoods, each structure is topped with a sloping roofline mimicking the wings of the Monarch butterfly, which is known as a sign of rebirth. The name of the complex nods to the symbolism. Amenities include a dog park, a Monarch Park splash pad -- which is a water feature with a deck area that is integrated into the main open space adjacent to a children’s play area, and two BBQ areas.

Sustainability was a key consideration in the creation of this property. Sustainability in construction was enhanced by making all of the indoor and outdoor systems electric.

In addition, the renewable energy system helps the complex work in unison and presents an opportunity for a solar panel system. The property will have efficient windows and appliances, reflective surfaces, and cool roofs that reflect about 76 percent of the sunray away from the building for added sustainability.

Understanding that the desert area sees high temperatures, the complex will be built with a double insulation system including framing with blown insulation and rigid insulation on the outside to help keep the air conditioning zones on the inside. Large roof overhangs also provide adequate shade throughout the property and over all the carports.

Founded in 1984, the Community Housing Opportunities Corporation (CHOC) is a non-profit, affordable housing developer based in Fairfield, California with offices in Palm Springs. The firm creates and manages equitable communities for individuals, families, seniors, and those with special needs.





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