ROEM Development Corp. has created a state-of-the-art affordable housing project for families in Silicon Valley. The 51-unit Franklin Street Family Apartments in Mountain View, Calif., has achieved LEED for Homes Platinum certification and boasts an array of features to ensure its long-term sustainability.
The development, completed in March 2013, includes Energy Star–rated appliances, efficient HVAC systems, and insulated windows. A solar photovoltaic system offsets approximately 60 percent of the project’s common-area energy load.
Water conservation was a priority, with water-efficient landscaping and drought-tolerant plants, low-flow plumbing fixtures, and dual-flush toilets. ROEM also replaced grass with artificial turf to cut back on maintenance and irrigation costs. The company provides transit passes for the residents as well as dedicated bicycle parking.
The $23.8 million development was financed with a mix of 4 percent low-income housing tax credits, bonds, and a loan from the city of Mountain View. Google, through syndicator Aegon USA Realty Advisors, and Citi Community Capital were the tax credit investors.
“Given the fact that this is Mountain View, where Google’s home is, it made a lot of sense for them to invest locally,” says ROEM vice president Jonathan Emami.
Google also contributed a grant for a computer room and free Internet access for residents.