Jamboree First to Break Ground in Downtown Revitalization Effort of Nation’s Seventh Poorest City

Long Beach, CA – Despite inclement weather, an enthusiastic crowd joined Jamboree Housing Corporation officials on February 22, 2005 to break ground on the future site of Puerto del Sol Apartment Homes at West Gateway. The site is adjacent to the City’s newest elementary school and Cesar E. Chavez Park. As the Mayor said, this marks the official beginning of West Gateway, the City’s massive downtown revitalization effort between 3rd Street and Broadway and Golden and Chestnut.

Jamboree Housing Corporation leveraged a nexus of public and private funds for affordable housing, making Puerto del Sol a strategic, major step in reducing the City’s severe overcrowding. Long Beach is ranked seventh in the nation in the percentage of the population earning less than poverty level. According to the 2000 census, 23% of Long Beach residents live in poverty – including 55,000 children – while 24% spend more than 50% and 22% spend more than 30- 50% of household income on rent, respectively. That means that housing options are scarce and/or unaffordable for nearly 50% of residents.

What people said about Jamboree Housing Corporation and West Gateway:

“Long Beach families desperately need decent, safe, affordable housing. It is a pleasure to be working with Jamboree Housing Corporation because of the care and expertise in affordable housing that they bring to the start of West Gateway.” The Honorable Beverly O’Neill, Mayor, City of Long Beach

“This project has been a long time in coming for those residents who experience the daily stress of overcrowding. West Gateway will provide these families with 800 rental units and for-sale homes with some retail development, new sidewalks, benches and landscaping.” Councilmember Bonnie Lowenthal, 1st District, City of Long Beach

“Puerto del Sol is exemplary of what affordable housing can do to serve the families of this community.” Michael Lo Grande, Chair, Long Beach Housing Development Company

“This exemplifies how we can improve the quality of life by revitalizing our neighborhoods. We chose Jamboree Housing Corporation because we wanted a great start to the West Gateway development.” Thomas Fields, Vice Chair, The Long Beach Redevelopment Agency

“Since 1996, Washington Mutual has partnered with Jamboree Housing Corporation on nine projects. It is the most competent affordable housing developer in the industry.” Sally Lang, Southwest Regional Lending Manager, Washington Mutual 

About Puerto del Sol
Puerto del Sol Apartment Homes at West Gateway is a 64-unit workforce housing community in Long Beach, California. The four-story building is the first of the much-anticipated West Gateway residential developments to break ground, and marks the latest in a series of revitalization efforts supported by the City of Long Beach, The Long Beach Housing Development Company, and the Long Beach Redevelopment Agency.

Puerto del Sol features two-, three-, and four-bedroom townhouse-style apartments that overlook an internal courtyard and out toward downtown Long Beach and the Pacific Ocean. The design in its scale and detail creates an appropriate sense of place for the area, respecting the existing fabric of the neighborhood to the north while acknowledging the new elementary school to the south. Parking is tucked out of sight in a semi-subterranean garage surrounded by town homes that engage the streetscape and the surrounding neighborhood.

Located immediately adjacent to Long Beach’s newest elementary school and Cesar E. Chavez Park, Puerto del Sol Apartment Homes is well-suited to serve families with a community room and computer training center. Jamboree Housing Corporation’s resident services program, Housing with HEART, will offer resident services tailored to very low-income families with children. The development will be home to families earning less than half of the area median income.

About West Gateway: New Urban Community
Embodying principals of "Smart Growth," the City of Long Beach is pursuing a unique public/private economic development partnership to develop a new transit-oriented urban neighborhood on all or portions of eight (8) square blocks situated at the entry to the City's downtown core. This master planned effort includes a new public elementary school and the development of approximately 800 ownership and rental housing units, incorporating resident-serving retail within an enhanced urban community. West Gateway is a critical element in the revitalization of greater downtown Long Beach.

Lennar Homes has been selected for Site No. 10, with a proposal of 164 units of for-sale housing. Jamboree Housing Corporation was selected for Site No. 1. The Agency selected Lyon Realty Advisors for Site No. 11, with a proposal of 345 units of rental housing. The Olson Company was selected for Site No. 9, with a proposal of 190 for-sale residential units. One or more of the sites will also include some ground-level retail, where appropriate. Developers for the remaining infill properties will be selected at a later date.

About Jamboree Housing Corporation
Founded in 1990, Jamboree Housing Corporation is a broad-based nonprofit housing development company that develops, acquires, renovates and manages permanently affordable rental and ownership housing for lower-income families and seniors throughout California. Housing with HEART (Helping Educate, Activate and Respond Together) is a 501 (c)(3) organization and an affiliate of Jamboree Housing Corporation. Jamboree Housing Corporation was one of the first nonprofit housing providers to recognize, and integrate into its program, the vital link between housing and on- site resident services.

Jamboree Housing Corporation was one of six winners nationwide in Fannie Mae’s 15th Annual Maxwell Awards of Excellence; it was named 2004 Developer of the Year by the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing (SCANPH), and one of its communities won the 2004 Communities of Quality Award by the Affordable Housing Management Association (AHMA). Jamboree Housing Corporation is Orange County’s leading nonprofit developer with an ownership interest in more than 3,600 affordable rental apartment homes throughout California. More information is available on the company’s Web site at www.jamboreehousing.com.

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Discussed in this article: 2005, 2005

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