Client: Meta Housing
Type: Adaptive Reuse, Office to Affordable Housing
Size: 115,077 SF, 58 Homes Ranging from 512- 1,300 SF
New Townhomes and Live-Work Lofts Combine with Gallery, Art Studio, Performance and Educational Spaces
The first project redeveloped under Santa Ana’s new adaptive reuse ordinance, Santa Ana Arts Collective (SAAC) repurposed a 1965 international style office building into 100% affordable, studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom live-work lofts. The project adds 10 new affordable two- and three-bedroom townhomes. Walkable to Santa Ana’s arts institutions, the redevelopment at 1666 N. Main Street includes art studio spaces, a dance studio, art gallery, two music studios and other arts-focused amenities for both residents and the public.
The project supports the City’s mission of developing Main Street into an arts corridor, bringing exceptionally high-quality affordable homes to a community that will benefit from an infusion of artists and other creatives. The redevelopment integrates residences, arts programming and transportation improvements to further uplift the Main Street Cultural Corridor.
The project is LEED equivalent as it followed the LEED standards through design and construction. The new construction portion of the development exceeded the code energy requirements by upwards of 25%. This was in large part due to the double walls used for architectural relief and increased insulation. Additionally, a high efficiency domestic hot water system nearly cut the load in half.
The adaptive reuse of an underperforming 1965 commercial building converts the property to housing that features 13-foot, exposed-concrete, waffle-slab ceilings as well as polished concrete floors. Restored ribbon windows wrap the building on all four sides providing ample natural light for resident artists. Ten new-construction townhomes activate Sycamore Street with front porches, the adjacent surface parking is transformed into a lush courtyard with orange grove bosque and children’s play area, while existing underground parking serves the building with access directly to the lobby. Original circular planters include heritage palm trees in the front plaza, preserved and integrated into the new design
Ground-floor arts spaces include a gallery, art studio space, a dance studio, two music rooms and other amenities supporting artists and the neighborhood. Meta Housing will provide onsite services.
Infrastructure improvements include a traffic-calming bulb-out at Sycamore and Seventeenth Street and a new bike boulevard on nearby Bush Street that connects the Arts Collective to downtown Santa Ana. On-site bicycle storage joins these improvements.
Meta Housing secured funding from the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC). AHSC is one of California's largest funding sources for affordable housing, and pairs affordable housing with high-quality transportation investments to foster healthy and well-connected communities.
"The jury agrees that this was their favorite project in the group. The entire project is understated but so refreshed and repurposed and the adaptive reuse is so evidently achieved. The new project embraces the existing building while also allowing for modern interpretations of the existing language and style. This project demonstrates a way of giving back to the community and its residents with a mixed-use project -- and you benefit whether you live there or not. The light touch of the architects is appreciated." - AIA OC Jury