La Placita Cinco


Goal: Reposition an underutilized retail plaza to create an innovative, community oriented, urban hub by providing support for existing retail tenants, updated amenity spaces, and the integration of new affordable housing.

Located in the heart of Santa Ana, La Placita Cinco, formerly known as Tiny Tim, revitalizes an underutilized strip center in a neighborhood that has not seen significant investment in over five decades, but is drawing attention due to its proximity to the City’s plan to develop a new light rail along 5th street where the project is located. Aligned with the desire of the City to have high quality housing options located along the light rail, La Placita Cinco presented a great opportunity to turn the desire into reality.

The resulting residential and retail improvements work together to build not just housing, but community. The new development portion features a three -to four-story building with ground-floor community amenity spaces, with a ground-floor storefront design facing the streets to create an urban feel. On the upper levels, the residential units are arranged around a central courtyard creating a safe, inviting environment for families to enjoy. Both residents and community members enjoy new outdoor fitness equipment, accessible along the side street.

Renovations to the existing plaza and retail buildings included renovated building facades, new landscaping, drive aisles and parking. The central hub of activity is the new retail plaza esplanade, widening the walkways accessing the retail shops and connecting to a new mini-park and band shell, designed to emulate the former 1950’s architecture found onsite. Both residents and retail tenants will be able to enjoy the addition of community gardens behind the north commercial building, inviting opportunities to grow, produce and learn about urban agriculture.


La Placita Cinco is a prototypical example of revitalizing a suburban style strip retail center in order to better serve the surrounding community. As such, it’s development forged new paths – adjusting it’s design and details to accommodate the requests of the community (lower density, additional parking, enhanced site amenities), the city (larger, family-oriented housing units, significant street improvements), and financial partners. Its final form is supported through a 9% tax credit award, and cooperative lender and investor partners who worked diligently to find solutions that supported both the new construction of affordable residential units with the plaza renovations. Making everything possible was the support from the City of Santa Ana, who approved not only all the necessary entitlements, but also $6 million in subordinated funding to ensure the financial feasibility of the project.

  • Number of units: 51
  • Lot size: 2.33 acres
  • Density: 21.9 units/acre
  • Unit size: 800-1,200 SF
  • Unit mix: 20 2BD/1BA, 29 3BD/2BA, 2 4BD/2BA
  • Parking Spaces: 148
  • Affordability: 30% / 50% / 60% AMI
  • Sustainability: LEED
  • Total Cost: $38.3M
  • Architect: City Fabrick, TCA
  • Contractor: Walton Construction
  • Property Management: FPI Management
  • Non-Profit Partner: Mercy House and Integrity Housing


CDP is proud to partner with these organizations, dedicated to bettering the lives not only of La Placita Cinco’s residents, but of those lower-income residents in surrounding communities.

Mercy House

Mercy House Living Centers is the lead services provider for La Placita Cinco, delivering high quality supportive services that are designed to help families and individuals maintain stable housing and generate positive changes in their lives.

For over 25 years, Mercy House has provided supportive services and comprehensive resident services to families, individuals, homeless, chronically homeless, and disabled individuals in Orange County. Mercy House staff has extensive knowledge of needs and barriers faced by the families and chronically homeless in our community, and they utilize a variety of resources and service coordination partnerships imperative to their success.

A resident services coordinator is responsible for providing organized social, recreational and enrichment activities for residents. The resident services coordinator provides tenants with information about available services in the community, assists tenants to access services through referral and advocacy, and organizes community-building and/or enrichment activities for tenants (such as holiday events, tenant council, etc.). Adult educational, health and wellness, or skill building classes are also available to residents. These include, but are not limited to: financial literacy, computer training, home-buyer education, GED, resume building, ESL, nutrition, exercise, health information/awareness, art, parenting, on-site food cultivation and preparation, and smoking cessation classes. To learn more, please visit:

Santa Ana Endurance Academy

We are excited to bring a permanent home to Santa Ana Endurance Academy (“SAEA”) onsite at La Placita Cinco. The mission of SAEA is to challenge the body and the mind, while creating a challenging experience. SAEA trainers meet the health and fitness needs of the entire community. SAEA will help activate the new fitness area at La Placita Cinco, with fitness programs geared towards all ages, with a goal to have as many people as possible moving and stop leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Santa Ana Endurance Academy was the vision of local Santa Ana residents with the intent to bring health and fitness to the local community. All have years of experience in the fitness industry, they have completed everything from 5k to Ultra Marathons and everything in between. They are all Ironman and want to bring the sport of triathlon to the youth and local community. SAEA offers training classes designed for strength, high intensity interval training, speed and agility, as well as training camps for marathon training and triathlon training. We are all experienced Endurance athletes ready to pass on the knowledge and make you strong, smart and fit. To learn more, please visit: