San Diego, California


Iowa Street Seniors development brings new life into an established inner-city community and new living opportunities to San Diego’s seniors.  The historic community of North Park is an area in transition.  The community is growing with new developments while maintaining its traditional urban patterns and restoring its neighborhood characteristics of walkability, mixed uses, eclectic housing, public transportation and neighborhood shops/offices.

Iowa Street Seniors is an excellent example of smart growth in an established community.  Using the existing infrastructure, the project brings increased density to the inner-city.  The new development supports existing commercial areas, medical facilities, public parks and transit modes.  The 120 new dwelling units brings new citizens into North Park that will encourage new growth and continued development into the future.

Neighborhood leaders insisted on a contemporary design that respected the neighborhood character.  Architects responded with a design with strong physical and visual connections to the street and surrounding community.  Parking garage is hidden behind commercial storefronts and a residential lobby at street level.  The upper level apartments overlook the street and neighborhood with large balconies and windows.  The second level community center, office and common laundry areas also have outdoor terraces that connect with the neighborhood.  Third and Fourth level homes feature city views of San Diego’s downtown, North Park, South Bay and mountains.

The design offers two large courtyards at the second level podium.  The apartments are clustered around the courts with patio and balcony overlooking the benches, BBQ’s, planters, trees and trellised sitting areas.  Community, laundry and management areas are located immediately adjacent to the two central courts allowing natural connections to the indoor activities.  Smaller and more intimate court areas featuring gardens and passive uses are scattered throughout the site.  Upper levels also feature enlarged outdoor balcony-corridors as gather spaces.  The overall site layout invites residents into the outdoor spaces and develops a sense of community.

The project will offer many environmental sustainable features.  Photovoltaic and thermal solar systems are installed to provide renewable energy.  Increase insulation, high efficiency appliances, lighting, mechanical systems and low-water use plumbing fixtures/landscaping significantly reduces the project’s use of public utilities.  A healthy indoor environment is supported with the use of low/no-VOC paints/sealants and formaldehyde free materials.  The most sustainable feature, however, is the site location.  The capitol and resources not exhausted on new streets and infrastructure are critical to the success of this project.  Iowa Street Seniors is a state-of-the-art example of smart growth that respects and promotes the North Park community.