Tiny Tim, Santa Ana, CA


Goal: Create an innovative urban hub in the middle of an established Latino neighborhood by repositioning an underutilized retail strip center and in the process provide expertise and funding for the existing retail businesses to improve their performance and continue as assets to the community in the long run.

Located in the heart of Santa Ana, Tiny Tim will revitalize an underutilized strip center in a neighborhood that has not seen significant investment in over five decades.  The goal is to develop high quality housing options for large families and to reinvigorate retail shops within a dilapidated store front in one project. The residential portion of the development will feature a three-story building constructed on top of a podium deck.  Community spaces with storefront glass will line the ground floor facing the streets creating an urban feel. Rising from the ground floor, the residential units are arranged around a central courtyard creating a safe, inviting environment for families to enjoy.

The vanilla shells of the existing commercial buildings will be updated aesthetically and functionally using the structure, storefronts and awnings. The awnings will be grounded and articulated to form deep facades and articulation between primary tenants. The majority of the tenants will be incorporated into the overall neighborhood serving retail center while being augmented by spaces dedicated to local community partners.

There will be a diverse collection of outdoor community spaces designed to physical connect the community to the project as well as emotionally connect residents to each other. There will be layers of circulation drawing pedestrians into and around the site including a tree allee along 5th Street and  esplanade within the project connecting all of the internal commercial spaces. The central hub of activity will be located in the crux of the north-south and east-west esplanade, and a mini-park that fronts onto a band shell that reuses the former gas station canopy. Health and wellness will form the foundation of the redevelopment with programs, spaces and circulation to serve the new residents and surrounding community. There will be a gym on the street level of the new building serving residents and gym members, with an outdoor gym under the residential wing serving them as well as any visitors to the site. A jogging track loops throughout Tiny Tim at a length of a fifth mile, with very limited interruptions for vehicles. There is also a community garden on the courtyard level for residents as well as an urban farm behind the north commercial building, which includes a classroom for the community to learn about urban agriculture.



Tiny Tim exemplifies the best of Neighborhood, City, and Developer partnerships.  The City of Santa Ana is planning to construct a light rail along 5th street where Tiny Tim is located.  It was the desire of the City to have high quality housing options located along the light rail and Tiny Tim presented a great opportunity to turn the desire into a reality.  Following site selection, CDP worked with the Artesia Pilar neighborhood association to ensure the design enhanced the community. With the support of the community, Tiny Tim not only received entitlements from the City of Santa Ana, but also $6 million in subordinate 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: 800-1,200ft2
Unit Mix:, 20 2BD/1BA, 29 3BD/2BA, 2 4BD/2BA
Parking Spaces: 148
Affordability: 30% / 50% / 60% AMI
Financing: 9% LIHTC, 4% State, and NMTC’s
Sustainability: LEED
Architect: City Fabrick
Contractor: TBD
Property Management: Solari
Non-Profit Partner: Mercy House and Integrity Housing
Total Cost: $26,900,000
Cost Per Unit:  $527,450


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.


Mercy House
Mercy House Living Centers will be the lead services provider for the Tiny Tim Housing project. The lead services provider will deliver 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 will be responsible for providing organized social, recreational and enrichment activities for residents. The resident services coordinator will provide tenants with information about available services in the community, assisting tenants to access services through referral and advocacy, and organizing community-building and/or enrichment activities for tenants (such as holiday events, tenant council, etc.). Adult educational, health and wellness, or skill building classes will also be 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.

Faces of Santa Ana
Led by founder Brian Peterson, Faces of Santa Ana is a passion project where he set out to befriend and paint portraits of the homeless community in Santa Ana, CA.  He then sells the artwork and use proceeds to help in rehabilitating his newfound friends. The mission of Faces of Santa Ana is to locally help those in need in cities around the world while also inspiring and activating creatives and supporters of the movement.  Brian believes that the creativity he’s been given is meant for the outward pouring of love. Brian will be leading the art planning and execution at The Aqua.