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A total of 68 townhomes are being built, with the first phase of 32 now complete and families moving in beginning this week. The remaining 36 homes have been sold and will close escrow by May 2022. By summer of this year, all the townhomes will be complete and occupied, with 244 individuals living in Sage Park.
Sage Park is an environmentally efficient community, recognized as the first affordable housing community in California to be built with solar panels, as well as providing energy star-rated appliances, smart home thermostats, LED lighting and wiring for high-speed internet. Further, all the townhomes are set up for an electric vehicle charging station to be easily added in the garage.
At the grand opening, held on the patio of Sage Park's new community center to minimize the risk of Covid, Irvine city officials joined the Irvine Community Land Trust in welcoming the first two new families, who shared their thoughts as new Sage Park residents.
One family of four told of their devastating financial setback that occurred when their daughter tragically lost her battle with a rare form of brain cancer. They lost their life savings, including the home they had previously purchased, and have been living with in-laws to save money while they worked in Irvine.
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The announcement of the new community created intense interest in 2020, when 6,053 households registered to take part in the random lottery, with names drawn on July 1, 2020. Once selected, families went through a qualification process based on income eligibility and then were required to obtain mortgages.
The homes, ranging in size from 1,282 to 1,634 square feet, have four models, featuring 2- 3- and 4-bedroom models. Two plans are two-story, and two have three levels. A community center, swimming pool with handicap lift, spa, grill and picnic area and playground round out the new community. Home prices range from just under $425,000 to just over $509,000, significantly lower than current market rates in Irvine.
"We are certainly proud of the three rental apartment communities we have developed previously in Irvine, particularly our efforts to provide affordable housing and services for residents with special needs, including veterans, adults with disabilities and families in jeopardy of homelessness," said Mark Asturias, executive director of Irvine Community Land Trust.
"But our hard work on Sage Park, unveiled here today, is the culmination of one goal we have had for many years, and we are proud to bring this to fruition. We look forward to being able to build many more units for moderate-income families to purchase as they seek to live in our beautiful city," Asturias added.
Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan, also a member of the ICLT board, told the gathering that Sage Park is not only delivering on today's promise of affordable home ownership, but also will provide that these homes remain permanently affordable for future families, long after the current residents have moved into their own market-rate homes.
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"What we have accomplished here in Irvine is not unique, as land trusts elsewhere in California and the country have created highly workable partnerships. But this is a wonderful example of how it works and we would love to see this type of partnership model, like the one between the city of Irvine and the Irvine Community Land Trust, replicated elsewhere in Orange County," Mayor Khan said.
ICLT Board Chair Anthony Kuo, also on the Irvine City Council, acknowledged the organization's partners on Sage Park, pointing to architects, engineers, contractors, lenders and the city of Irvine.
"Our contractor, California Pacific Homes, has done phenomenal work in building these homes on budget and on time. Our architect, Angelo Associates, and our engineer, Adams Streeter, facilitated the design of the homes and the layout of the project. Sage Park is of the quality we expect to see in Irvine," Kuo said. "In addition, our construction lender, Banner Bank, was wonderful to work with, as Sage Park was financed and built."
The grand opening ceremony included a light luncheon, a ceremonial ribbon cutting and tours of the four models. In addition, guests received a beautiful gift donated by Irvine-based Voluspa, known for its beautiful and fragrant handcrafted luxury candles.
For more information, visit http://irvineclt.org.
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