Father Joe’s Villages broke ground Tuesday for a 14-story affordable housing tower on vacant land downtown that once housed a bridge shelter tent for the homeless.
The $145 million project at 14th and Commercial streets will provide 407 housing units to support more than 500 individuals and families, including veterans and people with disabilities.
The “St. Teresa of Calcutta Villa” is Farther Joe’s largest project to date, and was made possible in part by a $10 million gift from the Caster family.
“A donation of this size sends a powerful message to the San Diego community — a message of hope,” said Deacon Jim Vargas of Father Joe’s. “This gift will be transformative for Father Joe’s Villages.”
Developer and philanthropist Terrence Caster, who made the gift along with his wife Barbara, accompanied Vargas for the unveiling of the project’s name.
“He wants to do so much for those who are poor, those who are vulnerable,” said a grateful Vargas.
Supervisor Nathan Fletcher echoed that thanks. “It’s a testament to what happens when we have courageous nonprofit leadership,” he said.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer said that when completed in early 2022 the tower will be a “beacon of hope” for the homeless.”This is going to be a game changer on the streets of our downtown,” he said.
Councilman Chris Ward, who represents the area, said the project is an example of how “affordable housing is beautiful” for a community. “It’s not an understatement to say we need more of these developments,” said Ward.
Units in the tower will have full kitchens, private bathrooms and simple fixtures and appointments. Residents will have access to supportive services such as classes, healthcare and case management.
The project is being co-developed by Chelsea Investment Corp., with Citi Community Capital as the senior lender.
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