Sustainable mixed-use development helps revitalize Calif. community

A sustainable mixed-use development with 40 affordable apartments for families is one of the latest developments to help revitalize downtown Perris, Calif.

Verano also features an on-site Head Start preschool operated by the Riverside County Office of Education and retail space, reports the website Affordable Housing Finance.

“Perris is an older city; in a sense it has given a new face to the city,” said Arjun Nagarkatti, president of developer AMCAL.

AMCAL previously developed Mercado, a 60-unit affordable housing development for families adjacent to the Verano. Both projects are part of Perris’ Downtown Specific Plan and are leveraging additional public investments and helping with the city’s ongoing revitalization.

Completed in fall 2015, Verano serves households earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income, with rents ranging from $398 to $955, according to the website.

“There’s a tremendous need for affordable housing there,” Nagarkatti said.

The development stresses sustainability. Nagarkatti said the firm tries to push energy-efficiency standards and cut down on utility costs for all its developments, and Verano is no exception.

It received LEED gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council and exceeds California’s Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings by 17.5 percent.

To help reduce residents’ utility costs, the development features Energy Star–rated appliances and solar thermal water heating. Xeriscape landscaping and a managed irrigation system were installed to reduce water usage, in addition to low-flow water toilets, faucets, and showerheads.

AMCAL focuses on indoor air quality, using interior paint with no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), as well as the Carpet and Rug Institute’s Green Label low-VOC carpets, pads and adhesives. In addition, a high-albedo roof was installed to reduce the heat island effect, and 50 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills.

The $13.6 million development was financed with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) allocated by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. Union Bank provided the LIHTC equity and a construction loan.

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Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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