COMM22, a master-planned, mixed-use development project on a former brownfield, receives the 2023 Phoenix Award as an outstanding development on a revitalized property. The national premier awards program for brownfield redevelopment reflects the progression of brownfield redevelopment over decades and recognizes extraordinary practitioners and projects such as COMM22.
SCS Engineers will be at EPA’s Brownfields 2023 Conference to accept the award on behalf of the COMM22 team. The COMM22 development is the result of a collaboration between BRIDGE Housing and the Metropolitan Area Advisory Committee on Anti-Poverty (MAAC) in partnership with San Diego’s Unified School District as a public-private partnership.
“The COMM22 team is honored by the Phoenix Award. Many partners are part of transforming this once-underutilized school district site into transit-oriented affordable housing connecting people to jobs and services. I am pleased to thank them all. Our mission at BRIDGE Housing is to strengthen communities and improve the lives of our residents, beginning – but not ending with affordable housing. COMM22 is an excellent example of the collaboration and creativity required to address a housing crisis of the magnitude we are facing. On behalf of BRIDGE and the entire COMM22 team, it is my pleasure to extend our appreciation to the organizers of the Brownfields conference and the Phoenix Award.” said Jeff Williams, director of development for BRIDGE Housing.
The COMM22 team took an abandoned and contaminated property in a mixed residential and commercial neighborhood to create a thriving hub of residences reinvigorating the area and providing stable homes for hundreds of low-income individuals, elders, and families.
Brownfield revitalizations have grown substantially with public, private, and nonprofit practitioners nationwide who depend on brownfields as a strategic function of planning, economic development, environmental quality, and community development. The COMM22 project, for example, provides over 200 affordable housing units, 13,000 square feet of commercial space, a 4,200 square foot child care facility, and 11 affordable for-sale townhomes in San Diego, CA.
The affordable housing units are separated into 70 senior housing units and 130 family housing units. Paseo at COMM22 Family Housing in Logan Heights has 130 apartment units, 13 serving youth eligible for supportive services on a referral basis. The remaining units are available to low-income families and individuals.
Victoria at COMM22 offers 70 affordable housing units for seniors 62 and older. Victoria has 40 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments with affordable below-market-rate rents and 30-one-bedroom apartments with HUD subsidized rents.
SCS Engineers’ role in supporting the environmental conditions at the site spans over ten years, including environmental assessments, waste characterization, mass grading, and design and implementation of a successful remediation program; thus delivering housing that supports both the social and business goals of the development team and the community.
“The technical issues were challenging, but it’s amazing to see the transformation of vacant lots into vibrant housing that anchor the neighborhood,” says Dan Johnson, SCS Engineers vice president. “We are proud to be able to provide the highest level of environmental and regulatory support for the community.”
The completed COMM22 housing development is a transformational project that has brought tangible benefits to its residents and the entire community. What was once an abandoned, contaminated property is now a thriving cornerstone for the whole neighborhood and a model for transit-oriented infill development and affordable housing with a noticeable increase in the quality of life and a palpable pride of ownership.