Bluewater & Stella
WINNER: Best Affordable Apartment Community (Over 100 Units)
Nominated by: Affirmed Housing
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Developer: Affirmed Housing
Architect: Studio E Architects
General Contractor: Suffolk Construction
Interior Designer: Affirmed Housing
Photographer: Mark Davidson Photography
Project Website: Bluewater and Stella
Located in Grantville, a choice neighborhood in the city of San Diego, are Bluewater and Stella — two affordable communities that are interwoven in development, funding and structure. Grantville is a bustling neighborhood with retail, dining, proximity to main thoroughfare and public transit; however, it’s lacking in availability of affordable housing. Bluewater and Stella are designed to seamlessly blend with one another and enliven the local community at large, as well as adding to the deficiency in affordable housing options. Simultaneously developed, the communities are divided by an interior wall that extends from the underground parking structure to the second-floor outdoor community courtyard. Offering a combined 160 affordable apartments, Bluewater and Stella offer homes for families, singles, and the formerly homeless. Using the same development and funding partners for the development of both properties allowed for efficiency and timely development from inception to completion. Developed at a cost of $34.6 million, Bluewater offers 80 multifamily one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments averaging 817 square feet for those who earn 30% to 60% area median income (AMI). The building features elevated common area amenities and outdoor open space on the second level, with a community kitchen, multipurpose space and gathering areas oriented toward the west to enliven the space with abundant natural sunlight. The street level offers management and services offices, limited retail (approximately 450 square feet) and 80 spaces of resident parking. With rooftop solar panels to offset utility bills, all units offer energy-efficient appliances. Adjacent development Stella offers 40 studio-efficiency and 39 one-bedroom apartments, targeting homeless and special needs populations with an average of 40% AMI. Green-point rated, Stella is a $29.1 million development and offers residents an in-suite kitchenette, bathroom, onsite laundry and common spaces, as well as a tech and TV lounge, and a full kitchen. Interfaith Community Services provides wraparound services.