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San Diego Community College District Selects Michaels For Affordable Student Housing Project

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The Michaels Organization is pleased to announce our partnership with the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Community College District for a new housing community that will provide affordable housing to San Diego College students. Please see below for the San Diego Community College District's announcement:

The Board of Trustees of the San Diego Community College District has approved moving forward with a potential new partnership with a nationally renowned development company to develop, design, construct, and operate an apartment complex that will provide affordable housing to San Diego City College students.

The selection of The Michaels Organization as the pending partner was approved at the September 14 board meeting. The district is partnering with Michaels to build a seven- and eight-story 800-unit complex on the block bounded by 16th, 17th, B and C streets on the San Diego City College campus. A Child Development Center now located there is being demolished in preparation for construction.

City College is among the first community colleges to be selected for the state’s Affordable Student Housing Program. The college’s project would serve students who most need housing to pursue their education, including students who are low-income, veterans, foster youth, and others. In addition to offering housing at below-market rates, students living in the complex would also have services such as counseling and tutoring available to them.

A 2020 survey found that 64% of City College students faced housing insecurity and 20% reported being homeless.

“We are committed to providing students with safe and affordable housing, along with the services they need, so they can successfully reach their education goals,” said San Diego City College President Ricky Shabazz.

The current plan calls for rent per bed to be at least $500 below the market. Each unit likely will house two to four students, and the building is planned to include a laundry, grab-and-go store, a kitchen/lounge, study spaces, and a tutoring office.

Joel Peterson, Vice Chancellor of Operations, Enterprise Services, and Facilities at the San Diego district, said Michaels will take lead for the development of the City College project, from obtaining permits, designing the project, its construction, and its operations.

“While the district must approve all steps, the developer oversees the entire process because they have the expertise,” Peterson said.

The Michaels Organization, based in New Jersey, has been building projects across the country for more than 50 years, including 6,000 units of university student housing, along with affordable and military housing.

“We’re excited to step in there and collaborate with the district,” said Abbie Hawkins, director of development for Michaels.

Michaels will help structure financing for the construction and operation costs of the facility, while the district will retain ownership of the land.

Gregory Smith, Acting Chancellor of SDCCD, said the district is looking at numerous options to finance the project, including state funding, a general obligation bond, and/or revenue bonds.

“Addressing our students’ basic needs is a priority for our district and San Diego City College,” said Smith. “Affordable housing is a critical new tool in expanding access and ensuring the success of our students. We are committed to moving forward with this project. We have many options available to us to make this a reality.”

The project is expected to be completed by early 2028.

As one of the largest of California’s 73 community college districts, the San Diego Community College District serves approximately 80,000 students annually through three two-year colleges and the San Diego College of Continuing Education. San Diego City College, San Diego Mesa College, and San Diego Miramar College, offer associate degrees and certificates in occupational programs that prepare students for transfer to four-year colleges and entry-level jobs. Mesa College also offers a bachelor’s degree in Health Information Management. The San Diego College of Continuing Education offers noncredit adult education at seven campuses throughout San Diego.

Shared September 30, 2023.

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