Berkeley, Calif. - Today, a grand opening ceremony for a new mixed-use complex is taking place on the project's site, an old industrial yard in Berkeley, Calif. Ashby Lofts, featuring 54 affordable apartments, is a green community developed by Affordable Housing Associates (AHA), a local organization.
Eve Stewart, senior project manager with AHA, tells MHN that Ashby Lofts broke ground in May 2006. The project was completed in July.
Designed by local architect Kava Massih, Ashby Lofts includes green design components such as recycled-content flooring materials, nontoxic paint, a hydronic hot water system and photovoltaic solar panels.
"Despite news of home prices going up and down, one thing remains constant: working families in the Bay Area need affordable rental housing," says Susan Friedland, AHA executive director.
AHA received over 1,100 applicants for the apartments. Stewart tells MHN that the one-, two- and three-bedroom units range in size from 600 to 1,200 square feet, and from $455 to $1,062 in monthly rents. They include granite countertops. Eighteen of the units are designed as two-story lofts that include open mezzanine areas that can be used as home office space or playrooms.
The complex features a community room, computer lab, laundry facility and play structure for children. In addition, retail tenants at the building include Tofu Yu, a healthy vegetarian deli. Construction is underway next door on the second store location of the Berkeley Bowl, a popular locally owned grocer.
The project contractor was the Nibbi Bros., and the community was funded by the city of Berkeley, the State Department of Housing and Community Development, Citibank, Enterprise Community Investment and the Federal Home Loan Bank.