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AGOURA HILLS, CA-Amcal Multi-Housing Inc. is managing to keep its development pipeline flowing despite a recession that has put the brakes on many projects. The specialist in affordable and seniors housing, which completed 10 new projects totaling 710 units last year, has four new developments totaling 310 units under way and three more totaling 212 units–including both affordable and market-rate housing–scheduled to kick off later this year throughout California.

In Southern California, three developments are currently in the construction phase: Los Vientos, an 89-unit complex in San Diego; Regency, a 78-unit senior apartment development in Palmdale; and Villa Serena, an 85-unit development in East Los Angeles. In Northern California, construction has begun on Brookfield Place, a 58-unit development in Oakland.

In mid-2009, three developments are scheduled to break ground: Andalucia Heights, a 75-unit complex in the Los Angeles district of Westlake; Santa Fe, a 56-unit project in Bakersfield; and Cordova, an 81-unit property in Selma.

Amcal president Percival Vaz tells GlobeSt.com how his company has been able to build and plan its projects this year and last. “Amcal is in a niche market and the demand for affordable housing is asstrong as ever in most parts of California, notwithstanding the current recession,” Vaz says. He says the factors, coupled with Amcal’s track record, have enabled the company to continue to access financing.

Amcan has been successful when applying for public funding, which Vaz describes as “vitally important for tax-credit developments.” The cities of Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange Cove provided amounts ranging from $100,000 to nearly $5.3 million for Amcal projects, while the City of Palmdale awarded the Agoura Hills firm a nominal ground lease for a complex there. The cities support the Amcal projects because, “In today’s economy, affordable housing plays a very important role in a city’s development,” Vaz says.

In addition to multiple apartment developments for low-income families and seniors, Amcal is currently in predevelopment for a project in North Long Beach along Atlantic Avenue that encompasses two city blocks and is planned to feature housing and retail, including a restaurant and a grocery store. A new public library and complex center for the neighborhood are also planned for the site. The company recently launched Amcal Equities, a division dedicated to acquiring existing income-producing properties and developing market-rate apartments. Since 1996, Amcal has completed 29 projects totaling 2,829 units.

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