The entrance to Ouchi Courtyards on Imperial Avenue in Lincoln Park. Photo by Chris Jennewein

A 45-unit affordable housing development opened Tuesday on the site of an old nursery in the revitalizing neighborhood of Lincoln Park.

Ouchi Courtyards, named for a nursery the opened on the site in 1946, has 30 two-bedroom and 15 three-bedroom units built around a courtyard with a small playground.

Seven of the units are set aside for people with developmental disabilities, and new resident Linda Hermanson, who suffers from cerebral palsy, spoke about the importance of these dwellings.

James Schmid, CEO of Chelsea Investment Corp., holds a microphone for resident Linda Hermanson.

“For me, it means independence,” she told a crowd of over 100 community and business leaders gathered for the opening. “I’m not going to ever have a doctor tell me after surgery that I have to go into a nursing home.”

James Schmid, CEO of developer Chelsea Investment Corp., described the project as a “model of modern infill development” and praised City Councilmember Myrtle Cole and her district for openness to such projects. His company also developed Independence Point, which opened nearby in 2016.

“It’s probably become the most development-friendly community in the City of San Diego,” he said.

Cole said the $20.4 million project will help revitalize the neighborhood east of Interstate 805.

“When people’s basic needs are met, opportunity opens up to help them thrive,” she said.

Rents start at under $500 per month for qualified low-income households. The development also has 5,000 square feet of space for local businesses.

The project was funded in part with a $5.4 million loan from the City of San Diego and CivicSD, the city’s development arm.

Since 1984, Chelsea Investment has developed 9,215 units of affordable housing valued at over $1.5 billion.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.