New San Diego high-rise passes for high-end apartments, but for affordable housing

Atmosphere opens May 31
Posted at 6:26 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 21:35:09-04

Hundreds of San Diegans are moving into the downtown’s newest high-rise. Atmosphere officially opens May 31 with studio to three-bedroom apartments ranging from $525 to $1250 a month.

“Atmosphere” on 4th Avenue is the newest affordable housing project from Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation. The $80 million 12-story high-rise has 205 apartments reserved for people who make less than $48,000 a year. It could easily be mistaken for any other high-rise in “Condo Canyon” that demands upwards of $4,000 a month in rent.

“We have 700 people who would qualify to get in here,” said Wakeland CEO Ken Sauder. “We could only take 205 and that was after we originally got a thousand applications and then stopped the applications.”

Sauder said the number of people who can’t afford housing in San Diego is horrific.

“That is a part of this job that I find very frustrating is that you simply cannot meet all the need out there,” he said.

He added the number of affordable housing units in San Diego County is growing but not fast enough.

“We’re working on a development in Vista on that one and that’s called the Grove and that’s still a couple years away.”

His biggest advice was for people to be diligent and get on as many waiting lists as possible.

“Go to the San Diego Housing Commission website. They have a lot of properties pretty much city-wide that are available,” he recommended.

Of the 205 apartments at Atmosphere, 51 are specifically reserved for people who were recently homeless.