Family-Centered Affordable Housing Community Hosts Grand Opening of Rejuvenated Shopping Mall in Santa Ana, Calif.



SANTA ANA, CA – A grand opening has just taken place for La Placita Cinco, a 51-unit affordable housing community that includes homes and businesses in Santa Ana, California. The project includes $ 6 million in funding from the City of Santa Ana and will provide much-needed affordable housing for Orange County.

Located at 2239 West 5th Street, La Placita Cinco features 20 two-bedroom units, 29 three-bedroom units, and 2 four-bedroom units. Available units and monthly rent levels range from $ 881 to $ 2,154. The new residential development is a four-story uniquely structured building with a mix of units geared towards families between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area’s median income.

Located in the Artesia Pilar district of Santa Ana, near the new OC tram, La Placita Cinco replaces an old gas station with a four-story mixed-use building. The community consists of 51 units with a ground floor space that can be used by residents for various purposes. La Placita Cinco has carefully preserved the site’s original commercial buildings, which house several retailers. This allowed businesses to remain open during the construction of the project.

The developers say La Placita Cinco is revitalizing an underused mall in a neighborhood that hasn’t seen significant investment in more than five decades. It attracts attention because of its proximity to the city’s plan to develop a new light rail along 5th Street where the project is located.

“Our goal was to build open social spaces so residents could come together and connect with their neighbors, existing retailers, as well as the greater Artesia Pilar neighborhood,” said Kyle Paine, president of Community Development Partners. “Aligned with the City’s desire to have high quality housing options located along the light rail, La Placita Cinco presented a great opportunity to turn the desire into reality. As such, its development forged new paths – adjusting its design and details to meet community demands, such as lower density, additional parking, and improved on-site amenities, as well as demands for the city for larger and family housing units, significant street improvements, and financial partners.

Developers and designers say La Placita Cinco is a prototype example of a suburban-style mall revitalization to better serve the surrounding community.

“Ultimately, our intention was to provide vibrant retail and residential businesses while revitalizing this neighborhood of Santa Ana. Our team members really made this mixed use come together in a sustainable and pedestrian friendly way. The residential component ensures a 24/7 presence by locating accommodation in direct proximity to shops and work environments. Horizontal proximity integrates these essential uses supporting a sustainable, pedestrian-friendly and habitable environment. Ultimately, the intention is to energize the community with a variety of demographics by offering a choice of housing solutions which in turn creates a vibrant social fabric, ”said Tim Mustard, director at TCA Architects.

La Placita Cinco has judiciously integrated a public park and an open space between the two commercial buildings and the residential building; allowing for a variety of public uses such as gathering spaces for local customers and workers, farmers’ markets, outdoor concerts and community gardening. In addition, a community space on the ground floor is available for services to residents and the community. Mercy House, which operates La Placita Cinco, has already successfully hosted several events since the project officially opened in June.

“La Placita Cinco represents a replicable model for the reallocation of automotive-oriented commercial properties into mixed-use neighborhood service centers comprising new homes and community amenities, while retaining and expanding existing businesses. Said City Fabrick manager Brian Ulaszewski.

The site, formerly known as “Tiny Tim Plaza,” is a 2.25 acre commercial property located on the northeast corner of Fifth Street and Hawley Street in the heart of Santa Ana. According to TCA Architects, La Placita Cinco is a prime example of how developers can revitalize old Strip malls, especially those anchored by gas stations.

“This project ticks all the boxes: it includes a $ 6 million grant from the city, it provides affordable housing, it is mixed-use, it includes public art, it revitalizes a central neighborhood, while offering a public space for community events. It is important to recognize the incredible value of this potential of underserved linear shopping centers in integrating families into a vibrant new pedestrian community. Think about the number of aging strip centers that can use it as a prototype to bring an aging asset to life, ”said Mustard.

La Placita Cinco aims to reflect the cultural diversity of the Artesia Pilar district and the wider city of Santa Ana, both architecturally and artistically. A mural arranged on the prominent corner of the building was created by local artists.

The project leveraged both traditional and innovative sources of finance that are unique to rehabilitating a dilapidated commercial property with affordable housing. In its final form, La Placita Cinco is backed by a nine percent tax credit and by cooperative lending and investor partners who have supported both the construction of new affordable residential units and the renovation of the site and existing buildings. , the developers said.

Together with the city of Santa Ana, La Placita Cinco was developed by Community Development Partners and Magis Realty, designed by City Fabrick and operated by Mercy House. Other main partners include TCA Architects (architect of Record), JDLA (landscape architect), Walton Construction (general contractor) and Ware Malcomb (civil engineer). The funding partners are: City of Santa Ana Low and Moderate Income Housing Asset Fund (LMIHAF) and Inclusive Housing Fund, 9% low income housing tax credits, debt Freddie Mac’s long-term plan and Citibank construction finance, and R4 Capital’s equity.

The project team, community residents and government officials attended the groundbreaking event, including: Tom Umberg of the California State Senate; Mayor Vicente Sarmiento of the City of Santa Ana and Councilor Johnathan Ryan Hernandez also from Santa Ana.

About community development partners: Founded in 2011, Community Development Partners develops and operates affordable housing that is sustainable and improves quality of life with an emphasis on long-term community engagement and innovative design. The company’s mission is to repair and strengthen the fabric of cities and towns by meeting the housing needs of local citizens through thoughtful planning and the creative development of sustainable and affordable communities. The company has offices in Newport Beach, California and Portland, Oregon, and has developed and currently operates properties in Arizona, California, Nevada and Oregon. For more information, please visit:

About City Fabrick: Founded in 2011, City Fabrick is a non-profit urban design studio that reshapes, restores and empowers communities through collaborative design, planning, policy development and public interest advocacy. Their work encompasses a wide range of work including the design and planning of parks and natural systems, people-centered mobility networks, affordable housing communities, environmental health and climate resilience solutions, community strategies. healthy and community development. Learn more at

About TCA Architects: Founded in 1993, TCA Architects is a nationally recognized leader in high density, mixed-use, multi-family housing and exclusive hospitality environments. The company’s collaborative approach and cutting-edge technological expertise have resulted in award-winning sustainable projects that respect our communities and the environment. With studios located in Oakland, Los Angeles and Irvine, California, TCA is one of the fastest growing architectural firms in the country. For more information on TCA, its designer talents and current projects, visit



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