El Rancho Del Arte, Mesa, AZ

COMMUNITY

Goal: Celebrate the strong local Latino culture and provide critically needed workforce housing for families with children in a Transit Oriented Design location and invite in the surrounding community.

Situated just outside of Phoenix in the bustling arts city of Mesa, El Rancho del Arte is one of CDP’s first acquisition, demolition, and new construction projects of a blighted motel. Completed in July of 2015 and serving Mesa’s low-income families earning 40-60% of the area’s median income (AMI), El Rancho del Arte’s 66-units sits on 1.4 acres and is comprised of 2 and 3-bedroom units. The local community has a large artist contingent as the City of Mesa has invested heavily in pursuit of creating a local culture conducive to supporting the arts. We worked closely with local artists to create a product that engages the community in arts through public art pieces. In addition to the public art elements, there is also a large communal gallery, a flexible studio space for children’s after school programming, a media room, computer lab, an outdoor dining area, a community garden, and a pool. Onsite services include after-school programming with Cultural Coalition, community gardening and cooking classes offered through Garden Pool, and opportunities to engage with El Rancho del Sol, the adjacent sister property, and their onsite operating providers such as Local First Arizona and WeCycle.

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DEVELOPMENT

El Rancho del Arte was the first phase of our Mesa El Rancho community, born of a distinct vision for low-income family housing that also provides enriching, culturally relevant experiences and supportive services. This project came to fruition after CDP established a relationship with a 1940’s motel owner/operator who was a patient Seller and appreciated CDP’s vision for the property and mission to serve the community.  By analyzing the Arizona Department of Housing’s Qualified Allocation Plan closely CDP had identified that a TOD project in the City of Mesa located along the light rail line would be competitive for 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, especially given the blighted nature of the existing motel.

Opportunities
A soft real estate market and a blighted motel with a patient Seller
Location fronting on the planned and funded light rail line
Strong connection to local community through artist friend Zarco Guerrero

Constraints
Rising construction costs and a building with structured parking
First new construction project in Arizona
Competitive 9% LIHTC funding rounds

Number of Units: 66
Lot Size: 1.4 acres
Density: 47.1 units/acre
Unit Size: 842-1,072 square feet
Unit Mix: 5 2BD/1BA, 36 2BD/2BA, 25 3BD/2BA
Parking Spaces: 69 spaces
Affordability: 40% / 50% / 60% AMI
Financing: 9% LIHTC, ADOH HOME/HTF, City of Mesa HOME
Sustainability: ADOH Prescriptive Path
Architect: Perlman Architects
Contractor: ICON Builders
Property Management: Celtic
Non-Profit Partner: Integrity Housing
Total Cost: $14,141,408
Cost Per Unit:  $214,264

Sources
9% LIHTC Equity $11,139,822
Perm Loan $1,279,000
ADOH Gap Funds $1,000,000
City of Mesa HOME $400,000
Deferred Developer Fee $322,586

Uses
Acquisition $875,919
Construction $9,290,638
Development $3,974,851

PARTNERS

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

 

Cultural Coalition
Bringing vibrancy and emphasizing the community’s cultures at El Rancho, Cultural Coalition operates onsite leading programming that focuses on the education and promotion of the indigenous cultures of the area. Cultural Coalition’s goal is to provide community engagement through unique cultural programs and to celebrate diverse cultures, serve families, provide cultural education and create new traditions. Cultural Coalition leads the after-school programming for kids living at the El Rancho properties, incorporating music, arts, dance, and provide homework help. Additionally, the organization has created a space for teenagers that promotes civic engagement.

Zarco Guerrero
As a friendship developed with Zarco it quickly became apparent that integrating artwork from a local artist into the project would be a cornerstone of creating pride of place for the community which was located in a historically Latino area.  Zarco, as an expert mask maker and master of many other artistic endeavors is a third generation Mesan of Mexican descent. His process of creating the art that adorns the interiors and exterior of El Rancho Del Arte was a thoughtful one and the experiential nature of the public art is something that every resident experiences every day.  We’re grateful for Zarco welcoming us into his community and for being a part of the El Rancho community.