CHULA VISTA , CALIF. - Seniors on Broadway is an affordable housing development that aspires to bring its elderly residents together with elementary school children.

Built on surplus school district property, the development will provide 42 affordable apartments. It does more by offering seniors the opportunity to be involved in an intergenerational learning program with the students next door.

Seniors on Broadway is a cooperative effort between the city of Chula Vista, the Chula Vista Elementary School District, and the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee (MAAC) Project, the nonprofit developer.

The school district had the vision and the land to create this project, said Arnulfo Manriquez, director of real estate development for the MAAC Project, which brought its housing development expertise and resident programs to the effort. The organization has developed more than 1,000 units in the San Diego region in the last 15 years.

Seniors on Broadway was scheduled to open in July. It is next to the Chula Vista Learning Community Charter School, which opened in 2003. The development is located in one of the oldest sections of Chula Vista, a redevelopment area that the city is trying to revitalize.

The $11.1 million Seniors on Broadway development features retail on the first floor and apartments on the second and third floors. The retail businesses are a flower shop and a coffee house.

The most unique aspect of the development is the relationship that the residents will have with the nearby school children. The intergenerational program will bring the seniors on campus to work with students on a variety of learning projects. Seniors will be able to share their skills and experiences with the children. The program aims to promote mutual growth between the young and old.

The school district leases the land to the housing project’s limited partnership through a residual receipts lease for 75 years. This lease is a soft lease until year 15 and then becomes a partial hard lease after that time. It is the first time that the school district took part in a deal like this, according to Manriquez. As a result, one of the challenges was making sure all the parties were comfortable with the deal.

Financing for the development included $3.5 million in HOME funds from the city; $250,000 from the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco’s Affordable Housing Program; a $1 million permanent loan from U.S. Bank; and about $6 million in LIHTC equity from Red Capital Group. The financing also included about $400,000 in deferred developer fees.

Twenty of the units are aimed at seniors earning no more than 50 percent of the AMI; 16 units are at 45 percent of the AMI; and five units are at 30 percent of the AMI. There is one manager’s apartment. Rents are between 15 percent and 50 percent below market rents. The apartments have views of San Diego Bay.

The development includes a 1,000-square-foot community room with a kitchen, a lounge, and a library with eight computers. Each apartment will also have a high-speed Internet connection.

Additional project information, as provided in application by the nominator.

Q. Why does the nominated project deserve to be recognized based on the award criteria of this contest?

A.We are proudly nominating Seniors on Broadway because of the unique cooperative effort between the City of Chula Vista, San Diego, the City Redevelopment Agency, the local elementary school district, and MAAC, one of San Diego’s oldest nonprofit institutions, in not only providing deeply affordable housing for seniors, but also effectively utilizing surplus school property and combining efforts to create the intergenerational learning program “Generations Together,” which will be operated at the project.

Q. How does this project represent an innovative solution to a specific development challenge?

A. This was a difficult but successful effort to satisfy a number of different and important goals which are not typically combined in the affordable housing development process.

First, the goal of the school district to make effective use of surplus property, including income generation; second the goal of the City and Redevelopment Agency to provide affordable housing while also revitalizing a major commercial avenue with an attractive and compatible use; third, the goal of MAAC to serve its housing mission along with its commitment to provide significant services to its affordable communities; fourth, the goal of a new charter school to have an adjacent use compatible with its activities and programs; fifth, the goal of neighborhood residents in general to see all of the above achieved.