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Mission Apartments

Withee Malcolm Architects LLP

Shared By

Dianne, New Voodou

Project Name

Mission Apartments


North Bay Redevelopment Area

Project Status


Year Completed



AMCAL Multi-Housing Inc.

Certifications and Designations

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Project Description

Mission Apartments
San Diego, California

Located in the North Bay Redevelopment Area north of downtown San Diego and near the airport, Mission Apartments create greatly needed additional family workforce/affordable housing and delivers quality on-site social services, community investment and redevelopment. The project capitalizes on a rare “Smart Growth” opportunity to provide transit-oriented development where workers can take advantage of existing mass transit facilities, literally next door. Built on a 1.5-acre redevelopment site, the community includes 85 two and three bedroom units designed for family living.

The designer’s played up the unlikely context for a residential development —surrounded by “planes, trains and automobiles” — to create a contemporary architecture that reinterprets the industrial architecture of the district including the historic Mission Brewery building, a 1913 icon. Responding to the specifics of site, climate and light, the apartments face unto a landscaped courtyard but also out toward the airport, which offers “front yard” views of take offs and landings. The internal facades feature corridors with bright, primary colors framed by white planes of the building’s stucco walls. On the Hancock Street façade, where the lobby is located slightly below grade to establish a sense of entry into the community, a modern, urban mix of materials including stucco, metal and Parklex panels provide a lively and welcoming face to the neighborhood.

The architectural design employed a cost-effective, wood podium with parking tucked beneath three stories of two and three bedroom apartments. The cost savings accrued by the wood podium design with the one level of semi-subterranean, wood frame parking saved millions of dollars in construction costs and allowed the developer to meet the budget for affordable housing, which not have been possible otherwise. The successful module of six, tandem parking spaces beneath three residential units was made possible by the San Diego building code.

Taking advantage of a change in grade between the street entrance at the first floor and the motor court required for the parking, the architects created a pedestrian bridge that spans the motor court and steps down into the landscaped “island” courtyard to assure a safe pathway to the tot lots/play areas, outdoor seating and BBQ. Other amenities on site include a community room with offices, a kitchen, computer room and bicycle storage.

Mission Apartments has achieved LEED Gold certification.

Video of the grand opening:!
Client: AMCAL Multi-Housing Inc.
Size: 1.56 acres
85 residential units
3 unit types - 2BD-3BD
841 - 1,182 sf
Density: 55 du/ac
Building Typ: 3-story affordable apartments, Type V construction over
1 level semi-subterranean, wood-frame parking
Completion 2012
Sustainability: LEED Gold
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