The Luna Vista apartment complex hosted its grand opening Friday, May 6, officially opening the doors to the 70-unit building servicing low-income members of the community.
The studio apartments were available to those making 30% to 70% of Mountain View's area median income (AMI). Randy Tsuda, president and CEO of Alta Housing, which owns the complex, said that the demand for housing in Mountain View is significant, creating a constant need for projects such as this.
In 2021, 30% of Santa Clara County's AMI was $34,800, and 70% of the AMI was an estimated $70,000 for a single-person household.
"I think one of the things the time of the pandemic has shown is the critical nature of having affordable and well-maintained and stable housing," Tsuda said. "During a time of unprecedented income disruption and health challenges, the fact that you have projects like these … has really allowed our residents to remain stable."
The Luna Vista apartments are currently fully occupied. Though construction began early on in the COVID-19 pandemic, the project stayed on schedule in part due to the city of Mountain View Building and Department of Fire Inspection allowing plans to be submitted for review electronically rather than in person shortly after the lockdown began. Tsuda credits this as one of the key elements that allowed the project to be completed on time and within budget, despite having a reputation for being an expensive undertaking.
"Through a lot of effort and coordination … they really worked hard to keep the project going despite supply chain issues and things like that. They found a way to get it done," Tsuda said.
Tsuda says that the community has reacted well to the new structure, which stands on the site of a former Taco Bell, as the apartment complex has allowed residents to stay stable and avoid displacement. The structure also has a unique shape, with a curved exterior and an art installation inside designed by clients from the Morgan Autism Center.
There was a tremendous amount of local support through partnerships in the community, with the project supported by companies such as Prometheus Real Estate Group and the Sobrato Organization. Tsuda believes that the project will serve the community well.
"These projects house people that are already serving our community," Tsuda said. "That often work in town or in the neighboring cities. These aren't outsiders. These are people that many of us see or interact with every day … all we're really doing with these projects is making a little room for people that are already members of our community."