CARMEL, CALIF.—In this affluent community, finding affordable housing for seniors is not the easiest task. That's why it was a high priority for nonprofit developer American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) to resyndicate and rehabilitate its 200-unit Pacific Meadows property.
“Especially in Carmel, there's not much in affordable housing,” says David Kiddoo, ABHOW's director of development. “This is a community that we were fortunate to develop quite some time ago."
When Pacific Meadows was completed in 1990, it was the only property in the Carmel area built for low-income seniors. And as ABHOW approached the closing of the property's resyndication in 2010, it still was the only multifamily property in the area serving low-income seniors due to NIMBYism and moratoriums on building because of water rights.
Prior to the resyndication, only 80 percent of the units at Pacific Meadows were affordable. But through the refi- nancing and rehab process, the developer was able to convert the remaining 20 percent of units to affordable and was able to create cost savings for all of its residents through the installation of the largest solar-powered electrical system in the Monterey Bay Area.
“It's allowed us to cover very close to 100 percent of the electric load of the project,” Kiddoo says.
The developer added 2,200 solar panels on carports and rooftops throughout the property. It generates more than 550,000 kilowatt-hours, and, according to ABHOW, it employs the first aggregate net metering system in California, which allows multifamily housing owners to allocate the system's benefits to residents across multiple units.
The solar installation also did more than provide cost savings for the owner and residents.
“It helped to leverage more debt. It more than paid for itself in terms of capitalizing energy savings. We were able to zero out our electric bill and utility allowances and underwrite that as part of our debt package. There also are substantial tax credit and rebates that we utilized," says Kiddoo.
In addition to the solar installation, significant repairs were made to the building envelope because of defective siding and more than 20 years of dry rot and water damage. Other sustainable features include the addition of low-flow plumbing fixtures, energy-efficient water heaters that include solar preheating, a weather-smart irrigation system, recycled-content carpeting, drought-tolerant landscaping, and energy-efficient common area and outdoor lighting.
The community space and office also were completely overhauled, which has been a positive change. “It's become much more friendly and inviting for the residents,” says Kiddoo. “And you see residents out there more than you used to."
The $11.9 million rehab was fi- nanced using 4 percent low-income housing tax credits and tax-exempt bonds; JPMorgan Chase provided the tax-exempt construction financing, Alliant Capital was the tax credit syndicator, and Prudential Mortgage Capital provided the permanent debt financing. The project also received Monterey County HOME funds.
Pacific Meadows consists of 30 studio, 110 one-bedroom, and 60 twobedroom apartments, serving residents earning between 50 percent and 60 percent of the area median income.