The ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing has selected Casa del Maestro in Santa Clara, The Kalahari, Miller Ranch, and South City Lights as winners of this year�s Jack Kemp Workforce Housing Models of Excellence Awards.

Casa del Maestro in Santa Clara
Casa del Maestro in Santa Clara

The awards are given to workforce housing developments that represent outstanding achievements in several areas, including innovative financing, unique construction methodologies, strong public/private partnerships, and replicability to achieve workforce housing affordability. The award winners were announced at the ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco last week.

The Models of Excellence Awards recognize exemplary developments that meet workforce housing needs in high-cost communities. Twenty-five submissions were reviewed throughout the U.S. Each of the four winning projects had at least 25% of the units designated for families earning between 60% and 120% of the area median income; was located near employment centers and transportation hubs; and utilized public capital subsidies for no more than 25% of the development costs.

All of the winning developments were bolstered by strong partnerships between the developers and the local municipalities. As a result, each municipality and its residents will benefit from the increased availability of workforce housing in their communities.

The winners are:

  • Casa del Maestro, Phase II (developed and design-built by Education Housing Partners, LLC, an affiliate of Mill Valley-based Thompson/Dorfman) is the final phase of a 70-unit rental development that provides affordable apartments to the teachers of the Santa Clara Unified School District. After recognizing that there was a high employment turnover rate among teachers due to the area’s high housing costs, the school district partnered with the developer to construct employer assisted housing on 3.5 acres of land owned by the school district. Since its completion, the apartments of Casa del Maestro, available only to school district teachers, has remained fully leased and has maintained a long waiting list. Phase II of Casa del Maestro, Spanish for “house of the teacher,” adds 30 additional employee-dedicated residences to the 40 units already in place in the community. KTGY was the architect for both phases.
  • The Kalahari (developed jointly by L & M Development Partners and Full Spectrum of NY, LLC, both located in New York City) is a new 249-unit condominium located in Central Harlem. The condominiums are housed in two 12-story buildings, with 46,500 sq ft of ground floor commercial space. This initiative facilitates the construction of mixed-income housing on city-owned land, half of which are affordable to families earning up to 150% of area median income. The condominium receives 25% of its electricity from solar and wind sources, making its design meet LEED silver standards.
  • Miller Ranch (developed by Eagle County, Colo.) was originally a working ranch that was partitioned over time, with Eagle County eventually controlling 120 acres. Eagle County partnered with ASW Realty to construct the site that is now home to a campus for Colorado Mountain College, a new high school, and a 30-acre residential development comprised of 282 homes.  Homes in Miller Ranch must be purchased by local residents or employees for owner-occupancy.  There was deed restrictions placed on all the units, limiting appreciation to 3% to 6% annually, resulting in sale prices well below median price.
  • South City Lights (developed by Watt Communities in Santa Monica) is located on a 13-acre infill site in South San Francisco. Developed in partnership with CityView, this topographically challenged site was passed over by developers for many years. Working with the cty of South San Francisco, the developer secured entitlements for a density of 20 units per acre in exchange for restricting the sale of 70 units to families earning between 80% to 120% of the area median income. What was created was a cost-effective design that provided workforce housing for a major employment center of the city.

“I congratulate the winners of the Models of Excellence Awards,” says J. Ronald Terwilliger, chairman and CEO of Trammell Crow Residential and founder of the ULI Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing. “Each of the winning projects is an excellent example of how the public and private sectors can work together to help solve the growing crisis of the lack of availability of workforce housing. Many of the best practices can be replicated in other high-cost areas.”

The winners were announced by Awards Jury Chairman Steve C. Preston, CEO of OAKLEAF Waste Management, LLC in East Hartford, Connecticut and former Secretary of the U.S. Dept of Housing and Urban Development.

In addition to the award winners, the following developments were selected as finalists:

  • Cottages at Longborough – (The Beach Co.) Charleston, SC
  • Fair Oaks Court – (Heritage Housing Partners) Pasadena
  • Woods Corner – (Middle Keys Community Land Trust) Islamorada, Fla.