Perris Station Enriches Seniors’ Lives
Green Home Builder
June 16, 2015
Located in Perris, Calif., the Perris Station Senior Apartment community is ideally situated in the heart of Perris’ Historic District on 1.28 acres just across the street from Perris City Hall and library, and adjacent to the Perris Senior Center, which allows residents to conveniently walk to the nearby Metrolink multi-modal transit center and a healthcare clinic, as well as other neighborhood amenities. Highridge Costa Cos., which includes Highridge Costa Housing Partners LLC and Highridge Costa Investors LLC, has set the standard in the development, financing, construction and asset management of affordable and mixed income housing for families and seniors throughout the United States.
Led by president, founder and CEO Michael Costa, the companies were founded in 1994 and acquired in 2010 by Costa and Highridge Partners, a diversified, privately held investment firm that has acquired, developed and/or financed assets totaling more than $7 billion. The peak portfolio featured 27,000 residential units across 276 properties in 33 states and Puerto Rico.
“The development successfully replaced a dilapidated former service station/ mechanics garage that for years had been a local eyesore,” said Highridge Costa Companies CEO Michael Costa. “As the first affordable senior apartment community ever to be built in the century-old city, Perris Station was needed to help spur commerce/ economic activity while serving as an anchor and gateway to the city’s Historic Downtown Corridor, and needed to tie into a site plan with an adjacent senior center and multimodal transit center.” This project also pioneered an innovative way to provide the City of Perris with monthly cash flow. The developer/owner leased the 9,900-square-foot ground floor commercial/retail component of the development to the City of Perris for an annual rental payment of $1. The City, in turn, is subleasing out the commercial space for income.
Although there was a great demand for affordable housing for low-income seniors in Riverside County and specifically in Perris, the ability to obtain project financing during the challenging and competitive economic climate was limited. Relying on key relationships, the successful track record of Highridge Costa and a highly collaborative public/private partnership, financing was obtained for the $28 million development. The developer placed a great emphasis on creating sustainable communities through the use of green building materials, highefficiency fixtures, reduced water usage, and the installation of photovoltaic cell arrays. This is the firm’s 15th project with solar array. Highridge Costa continues to be a recognized leader in the affordable housing industry.
Specifically, there was and is a strong need for affordable apartments for active adults with annual incomes between 30 to 60 percent of area median incomes in Riverside County. “The city wanted to provide amenity-rich living to economically challenged active seniors that would be virtually indistinguishable from market-rate apartments—this is the first 9 percent tax credit senior apartment community to be developed in the City of Perris,” said Costa.
The LEED-H GOLD certified building optimizes sustainability, affordability and healthy living with a Universal Design for ease of living and aging-in-place. The LEED-H GOLD Certification validates sustainability, reduces carbon footprint and increases affordability and healthy living options. Leading-edge sustainable strategies and state-of-the-art technology reduce utility costs and increase affordability for the residents. In addition to the photovoltaic panels which provide more energy than what the project’s common area uses, a minimum of 75 percent of the construction waste was diverted from the landfills and recycled. Perris Station Senior Apartment community includes 84 units and a 16,000-square-foot courtyard on the second story of the complex and 9,300 square feet of retail and office space on the first floor. “The city’s goal was to add high-quality, affordable and sustainable housing for lowincome seniors, to provide space for retail/ office uses, and resolve any surrounding neighbors’ concerns regarding noise, traffic and congestion,” said Costa.
The community’s perimeter is 100 percent secure, access points are gated, and residential building indoor and outdoor amenity areas are secured. Residents have individual, state-of-the-art key fobs to their front door, the residential building, and recreation amenities. The lush landscaped courtyard gives residents a secure area to exercise and socialize, and contains both active and passive spaces including seating for large and small groups and two barbeque areas.
Built from the ground up with seniors in mind, the apartment community seamlessly integrates health and wellness through a variety of amenities and features that support residents’ different dimensions— physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, vocational and environmental wellness— including the latest in sustainable strategies and technology to reduce residents’ utility costs and Universal Design principles for more comfortable living and aging-in-place. The development is linked by a walking path that seamlessly integrates the apartment community with the adjacent Senior Center.
At no cost, a full range of lifeenrichment programs is available for residents at all ages and stages onsite, and is coordinated with the Perris Senior Center. For example, through a partnership with LifeSTEPS, a nonprofit, programs such as financial literacy classes, one-on-one meetings, guest speakers on a variety of important topics, and utility cost reduction education are provided. “The majority of the residents in the community are participating in these value-added programs,” said Costa.
Perris Station Senior Apartment community includes other amenities, such as a clubhouse with a kitchen and a flat screen TV, plus exercise equipment, a lending library, an outdoor barbecue area, and a computer room.
“We have a passion for providing housing to hard-working Americans and deserving seniors, and if you drive by any of our communities they blend right in with all of the others in the area,” said Costa. “I enjoy taking people to see our communities because we have the long-term interest of the project and area in mind. We want to build better communities and give people better lives.”
Together, its unique design features and model public/private partnership raises the bar for affordable active senior apartment housing. As a model project for future such developments, Perris Station has received accolades from elected officials and the senior community, has won numerous awards and honors, and has been covered extensively in consumer and trade media.