Frequently Asked Questions
> What is Magnolia at the Park?
Magnolia at the Park is a proposed luxury multi-family development in Santa Ana fulfilling the vision set forth in the City’s Strategic Plan and providing significant economic benefits to the local community and businesses. The community will include amenities such as an approx 18,000 s.f. Amenity Deck on the roof containing the main pool and spa area and over 4,000 s.f. of enclosed Club Room and Fitness area. A second pool and spa area is located in one of the several lushly landscaped courtyard areas programed with a variety uses, such as outdoor dining and kitchen areas, lounges with fire pits, outdoor gaming areas, sunning lawns, and a ‘social lounge’ area large enough to accommodate community movie nights.
> How will the project help improve public safety?
Developer is proposing that funds produced from the project are set aside to provide services specifically for this area of Santa Ana. We are in discussions with the City to build a small horse stable so that a park ranger can patrol Santiago Park on horseback.
As part of the proposed development, the developer intends to provide 24-hour security that patrols throughout the neighborhood adjacent to the development and the park. New lighting adjacent to the park and a 24-hour presence will help to deter crime. In addition, Park Santiago residents will have the ability to call the security patrol officers with any neighborhood concerns.
> Why buy a property to rezone?
The site is ideally positioned for multi-family housing. While the City has not formally changed the zoning of the site, the City did study and produce an "Envision Map" that was the catalyst for the team to acquire the site.
The site was identified in 2015 as a probable rezone, designating it as residential with unlimited height and unlimited density. In addition, residential zoning makes sense due to its proximity to single family residential, in fact it is a prototypical manner in which cities are planned. Typically, it is much more common for homeowners to resist commercial uses next to their homes, not a residential use. In fact, the State of California is now focusing on requiring EIRs to study the detrimental impacts of commercial uses adjacent to homes.
> Would you rezone a property next to your neighborhood?
Yes. In fact, the developer's own home is 1/2 block from an 8-story building on a major thoroughfare. We believe in urban areas the future of housing is denser than in years past. The data is overwhelming that developing multi-family in close proximity to job centers will reduce traffic, reduce environmental issues by eliminating urban sprawl, and is less taxing on the City’s infrastructure.
> Why bring apartments to this neighborhood?
Office vacancy in this sub-market is approximately 20%, whereas multi-family vacancy is less than 3%. Clearly the need for housing in Santa Ana is extreme. It is well known that Santa Ana has one of the most detrimental housing ratios (for example, for every 1 housing unit, there are 4.5 people in Santa Ana; whereas Irvine is 1 to 2.6 and Newport Beach is 1 to 2.2). This has led to over-crowding, unaffordable housing options and congested freeways.
Other parts of the City have a much higher density putting strain on infrastructure as compared to North Santa Ana, even with the additional units already planned.
> We need apartments but not on this site. There are a lot of apartments planned for adjacent areas.
We find the location of this site, adjacent to both public transportation and major thoroughfares (the 5 Freeway and the 22 Freeway) make it ideal for multi-family housing. The adjacent retailers and employers are in desperate need for high income households in the sub-market, along with knowledgeable workers (those workers with specific skill sets). The culture has changed in that professionals today are renting in far greater numbers than the previous generation.
> Our community opposed apartments being built in our vicinity in the 1960’s and they did not get built.
The vision and the needs of the City have changed. The City is now in need of housing in order to prevent further overcrowding and to provide affordable housing options. Previous generations were able to navigate their families into home ownership, but the environment has changed and the barriers to acquire a home are significant and real.
> Concerned about privacy, people would be able to see into backyards of adjacent houses.
We have oriented the unit windows toward the park, street and courtyards and away from any of the adjacent homes. We have stepped down the east portion of the building closest to the homes on Spurgeon. In addition, we have designed the community at this eastern side with several courtyards, instead of a continguous facade. In the event it is determined that there are any privacy issues, the developer will either revise the design, pay for fencing and/or landscaping to screen the backyards.
> Where will the resident cars be parked?
There will be a parking structure that the buildings are wrapped around. The residences will be constructed around the garage, allowing residents to park on the same level as their home, with very short walk-distances. This type of development is ideal for the residents because they are able to park on the same level as their home. Additionally, unlike other adjacent projects with unsightly parking garages, the parking structure will not be visible from the surrounding area.
> Are nearby apartments full?
Santa Ana is among the worst cities in terms of housing shortages in the nation. In fact, Santa Ana’s share of the housing stock in the vicinity (including Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Tustin) was 34% in 2000; however, by 2015 Santa Ana’s share was down to 27%. As noted above, Santa Ana vacancy rate is less than 3%. It is virtually impossible to have a lower vacancy rate; and it is clearly indicative of a housing under-supply. There have been countless studies and articles over the last 3.5 years documenting Orange County’s housing shortage, resulting in folks paying far too much for housing, increasing traffic, increasing pollution, and destroying the quality of life (because people end up spending hours a day in their cars commuting).
If Orange County’s housing shortage is not solved, it will drive out workers and drag down the region’s robust economy. Without more places for workers to live, more 20 and 30-somethings will leave and business will struggle to recruit high quality employees.
> Where will Discovery Science Center visitors park?
The Discovery Science Center has plans for a new garage on their rocket lot. Discovery Science Center fully supports our project.
> Park Santiago only has three access points, traffic at Edgewood and Main is already impacted.
Our only egress will be off of Main Street. There will be no egress on Edgewood, which should significantly decrease cut-though traffic in the morning as residents leave Magnolia. In addition, an office building will not only result in more traffic volume, but an increase in cut-through traffic as people exit I-5 North at 17th Street and proceed through Park Santiago (or) cut-through from the east as they arrive to work in the morning. The reverse will happen in the evening. Overall, Magnolia at the Park will have less cut-through traffic than an office building.
> What is the process to redevelop the site?
The project application will be following the process of City review including the CEQA environmental process, Planning Commission and City Council hearings.
> Is the density of the proposed project appropriate?
The density of this project is consistent with hundreds of other Southern California projects, including those found in Santa Ana, Irvine, Newport Beach, Anaheim and Huntington Beach. The projects have added tremendous value becasue of their densities to both the cities and the communities where they are situated by providing quality housing, bringing quality folks to the neighborhood, and supporting local businesses. The proposed project will provide more than 10x the revenue compared to the existing structure (as a result of the density), thereby helping to reduce any fiscal challenges the City currently faces. The City is in need of a variety of new services and better services and this can only be achieved through and expansion of its tax base.
> Do you think there will be a benefit of reduced traffic with apartments instead of commercial?
Office would create significantly more traffic than the existing use, for instance, a 3-story office building would generate 6,630 daily trips compared to 2,698 daily trips for the proposed use (if the existing building were occupied by another financial institution, it would create 2,938 daily trips). Business uses are characterized by cars coming in and out all day, in addition, they have visitors and services that create trips throughout the day. Employees also contribute to the trip count with multiple daily trips. The current building has egress on Edgewood that contributes to cut throughs, while the proposed project will have NO egress on Edgewood and cut-through traffic will be less due to traffic patterns.
> How many trips are anticipated for the project?
Based on the traffic engineer’s study the proposed project will generate 2,698 trips per day, compared to the existing building's 2,938 trips per day.
> People park on our streets in Park Santiago, will it get worse?
We are providing ample parking, it will exceed the parking needs of the community. Residents will be provided with free and ample assigned parking on site. The logistics of parking blocks away from their homes makes little sense when they can park on the same level as their unit and have minimal walk distance. Again, the community will be over-parked, not under-parked.
> Will the project include affordable housing?
No, the developer will either pay the City a fee of over $6.5 Million, or build 77 affordable units in another location in the City.
> What impact will the new community have on crime in the area?
Crime is simply a reality in urban locations. We believe putting professional residents at this location will result in a nighttime presence, especially adjacent to the park thereby deterring crime. In addition we will provide 24-hour security that will patrol the park and Park Santiago.