A joint venture between MidPen Housing and EPACANDO has broken ground on Colibri Commons, a 136-unit affordable housing community in East Palo Alto, Calif. David Baker Architects provided designs and Blach Construction is the general contractor. The project expects completion in summer 2025.

Upon delivery, Colibri Commons will encompass studio and one- to four-bedroom floorplans ranging from 383 to 1,340 square feet. Residences will cater to individuals earning between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. Amenities are slated to include a community room and an after-school learning center. Services provided will feature employment preparation, nutrition classes, case management and adult education services.

The development benefits from the support of private and public funds, including $23 million from the San Mateo County’s Department of Housing through various federal, state and local agencies, as well as 15 Section 8 project-based vouchers from the Housing Authority of the County of San Mateo. Financing partners also include Wells Fargo and Local Initiatives Support Corp., together with City of East Palo Alto, California Community Reinvestment Corp., HEART of San Mateo County, Strategic Growth Council, California Department of Housing and Community Development, California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, California Debt Limit Allocation Committee and California Municipal Finance Authority.

San Francisco’s sizeable affordable pipeline

Located at 965 Weeks St., the site is close to Highway 101, some 19 miles from downtown San Jose, Calif., and 32 miles from downtown San Francisco. The property is within walking distance from the Gateway 101 shopping mall, and less than 4 miles from central Palo Alto.

In the first 11 months of 2023, developers brought online 4,241 units in the San Francisco market, 23.5 percent of which being fully affordable, according to a recent Yardi Matrix report. The metro’s construction pipeline totaled 18,295 units in September; 37.1 percent of that amount pertained to affordable projects.

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