Thousand Oaks Acorn: Work Gets Going at Lupe’s

Developing Martha Zuniga’s old multi-acre sprawl next to Thousand Oaks Boulevard is proving to be more difficult than expected.

The founder of Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant died in 1997, but the land she purchased in the 1940s adjacent to what would become Jungleland remains in the spotlight today due to plans approved in early 2017 to build the city’s first mixed-use development there.

The latest logistical challenge for the builder, who has already designed around a 50-year-old storm drain that bisects the property and navigated scores of protected trees: a barely accessible power line.

Project partner California Commercial Investment Group Inc. filed a request with the city at the start of summer to allow crews to prune four oak trees standing in the way of a utility trench and manufactured slope in the northwest corner of the property.
“They have to relocate the Edison line,” said senior planner Stephen Kearns of the city’s community development department. “Before they can disconnect the lines, they need to reroute it so Vintage Garden (the property’s neighbor) is not without electricity.”

The trees stand in the area near where Lupe’s patio used to sit. The landmark restaurant at 1710 E. T.O. Blvd. closed in 2016 after nearly 70 years in business and Zuniga’s children sold the site to investors, setting the stage for the new development.
CCIG needs permission from the city to work within the protected zone of the trees, which, by law, extends 5 feet beyond the tree’s canopy or 15 feet from the trunk, whichever is greatest.

When any work requiring a tree-related permit is required, the developer’s own tree consultant will be on-site, Kearns said. The city’s tree expert will then make visits to the site to ensure no damage is being done to the tree.

Of particular concern to some Thousand Oaks residents is the city’s 25th anniversary tree, an estimated 400-year-old valley oak that stands in what was the east side of Lupe’s parking lot.

Developers designed around the tree and are planning to build a deck around it where the public can lounge. The anniversary tree, Kearns said, is doing just fine.

The work as approved by the planning commission in February 2017 allows for the removal of 16 coast live oak trees, four that will be cut down and 12 that will be transplanted elsewhere. Four landmark trees, protected due to their species and size, have already been removed.

Any oaks that can’t be transplanted will be replaced at the city’s standard 3-1 ratio. The developer must replace each single tree with two 24-inch boxed trees and one 36-inch boxed tree.

Aside from the need for the encroachment permit, the project appears to be on track, Kearns said, noting that the grading at the rear of the project, nearest the freeway, is ahead of schedule because crews didn’t run into any anticipated bedrock.

The mixed-use development is the first of its kind approved on Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Another, proposed down the street at 299 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., is scheduled to go to the City Council this month.

Plans for the Lupe’s site involve the construction of 36 market-rate apartments and 4,980 square feet of commercial space, which city leaders hope will attract both a restaurant and a cafe/bistro. The buildings will stand three stories high.

Of the 36 apartments, 25 will have two bedrooms, nine will be one-bedroom and two will have three bedrooms, according to current plans. Four of the units will be live-work apartments with a 490-square-foot work area in addition to the standard living area. The design also includes a courtyard and meandering path for use by future tenants and the public.

Editorial: Thousand Oaks Tackles Housing Blues

We received another gloomy report last week on Ventura County’s economy that cited the usual suspects—lack of jobs, lack of housing and especially lack of housing that people can afford. The Thousand Oaks Planning Commission, however, lifted our spirits this week with approval of some badly needed apartments in its city core.

We have long decried the county’s severe lack of affordable housing. Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources growth-control laws have prevented urban sprawl, but the corollary of that — so-called “infill” development in core urban areas — is often thwarted by NIMBYism, general anti-growth sentiments and weak willed city leaders.

Frankly, we are tired of hearing that people moved here from the San Fernando Valley for a quieter way of life and that building some housing for our kids is going to suddenly turn us into Orange County. Someone, after all, had to build the housing those folks bought. Without more infill units, more and more people are cramming into existing housing — bringing the very parking and traffic problems that so many here fear.

Not surprisingly, we heard some of those fears expressed about the Thousand Oaks project, which will include 36 apartments, 4,980 square feet of commercial space and outdoor dining areas at the site of the former Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant on Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Fortunately, the project by Dalygroup Inc. and California Commercial Investment Group had much support — the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Association called it “not just the applicant’s project, but rather the community’s project” — and it was approved 3-1 by the Planning Commission. If that decision is appealed to the City Council, we urge that the approval be upheld.

The project is not perfect — some oak and sycamore trees must be removed or transplanted — and 36 apartments won’t solve our housing crisis. But it’s a step in the right direction, and it also may jump-start longtime city efforts to revitalize the 3 downtown miles of Thousand Oaks Boulevard between Moorpark Road and Duesenberg Drive.

City leaders for decades have talked about turning the mishmash of office buildings, strip malls and auto-repair shops into a vibrant, pedestrian-filled hub of restaurants, shops and boutique hotels. They finally approved a plan for that in 2011, the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan, but the Dalygroup project is actually the first mixed-use proposal to come to the commission or council since then, according to a city staff report.

City leaders say businesses complain that the lack of housing and nightlife makes it difficult to attract young professionals. The specific plan allows a total of 420 new housing units in the area, and the Dalygroup project could be the catalyst for other mixed-use projects to follow suit.

In his gloomy economic talk last week, Matthew Fienup, executive director of the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Lutheran University, talked about all the commute traffic being created here by the lack of affordable housing and high-paying jobs — and how infill development is part of the solution. We applaud Thousand Oaks for recognizing that this week and urge other Ventura County cities to do the same.

Ventura County Star: Thousand Oaks OKs Project for Former Lupe’s Site

The Thousand Oaks Planning Commission this week approved construction of a mixed-use complex, including apartments, commercial space and outdoor dining areas, at the downtown site of the former Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant.

Lupe’s, a Thousand Oaks mainstay for nearly 70 years, closed in August.

The commission green-lighted the project by applicant Dalygroup Inc. on a 3-1 vote Monday night, with commission Chairman David Newman dissenting. Unless the commission’s decision is appealed to the City Council within 10 days, it will constitute the final approval of the project.

The commission approved a special-use permit to allow construction of two, three-story buildings with 36 apartments on the 5.13-acre site at 1710 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. and nearby parcels. The permit also allows the construction of 4,980 square feet of commercial space, parking areas, public exterior spaces, outdoor dining areas, recreation amenities and associated site improvements.



Pacific Coast Business Times: Mixing it up – Thousand Oaks getting city’s first mixed-use development

Thousand Oaks will soon have its first mixed-use residential project as part of a broader effort to revitalize its downtown area.

“We’re the first project,” said Gary Collett, one of the inves­tors. “We’re setting the tone.”

The 36 market rate apartments will rise in the spot of the for­mer Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant at 1710 Thousand Oaks Blvd. The city’s Planning Commission approved the development, the largest mixed-use residential and commercial project in the city’s history.

The first floor will consist of restaurant space. The developers are hoping for one large restaurant or possibly two small ones within the 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

The apartments will be built on the second and third floors. Most of the apartments will be two bedrooms, and four of them are intended to be “live-work” units, for a pianist or an architect, said developer Vince Daly.


Big 2/Fox 24: West Texas Food Bank mobile food pantry in full swing, visited Manor Crest Apartments for second time

ODESSA, Texas (BIG 2 / FOX 24) – The West Texas Food Bank is taking advantage of their new mobile food pantry.

On Wednesday, the food bank made a stop at the Manor Crest Apartments. It’s the second time the pantry has made its way to the complex, according to Manor Crest Apartments Service Coordinator Diane Cortez.

“A lot of my residents don’t have transportation or they don’t have any members of the household that can assist them,” said Cortez. The complex houses people over the age of 62 or those who deal with a disability. “It was an awesome opportunity and they chose us,” said Cortez.

It’s a resource the apartment complex knew some residents like Alicia Garcia desperately needed.

“It’s free, just feel privileged that we have this opportunity to enjoy whatever they provide for us,” said Garcia. The ability to reach people in the community is exactly what WTFB intended with their mobile pantry that they received around three months ago. “And we look for pockets of areas either in rural areas or either Midland or Odessa to where we know that there are really hungry people that we need to get to that we haven’t reached yet,” said WTFB Regional Agency and Outreach Manager Greg Clark.

With the ability to deliver, Clark says there’s no shortage of places to travel to. “We’ll be at Cavazos Elementary parking lot Friday morning, so we’re doing distribution out there. Medical Center Hospital on University in West Odessa,” said Clark.

Cortez tells BIG 2 / FOX 24 that the West Texas Food Bank will come to their apartment complex every first Wednesday of the month. For both outreaches, Cortez says more than 100 people turned out to get food.

Thousand Oaks Acorn: Agoura Village East Community Meeting

The Ave, a mixed-use development approved for Agoura Village, received a less than enthusiastic reception during a June 12 community forum in the Agoura Hills Recreation Center, the latest in a series of attempts to convince residents about the need for new commercial and residential growth in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains, just south of the city. The development by Gary Collett and Lou Mellman of the California Commercial Investment Group of Westlake Village is one of several mixed-use projects planned for the Agoura Village zone on Agoura Road south of the 101 Freeway between Kanan and Cornell roads at the gateway to the Santa Monica Mountains. The 18.5-acre development comprises 119,000 square feet of commercial area and 118 residential rental units. A three-story, 120-room hotel is also planned.

Residents showed their displeasure when they learned that neither Collett nor Mellman would attend the forum. The Ave developers were instead represented by Brad Rosenheim, who is also point man for Cornerstone, another Agoura Village mixed-use development that was halted May 23 when a judge ruled the 8-acre project needed further environmental review.

Agoura Village developers who have been approved by the city are required to hold two community forums to discuss the scope and impact of their projects, but since The Ave was already underway, the developer needed to only conduct one meeting.

But the glare from large windows at the recreation center last week prevented the crowd from seeing a PowerPoint presentation about the details of The Ave. Rosenheim promised that the slide show would be posted on the city’s website.

When Rosenheim assured everyone that the project team at the meeting would be able to answer all questions during a breakout session at the forum, the crowd bristled and tensions flared. “I am your neighbor and I don’t want to be abused by anyone,” Rosenheim said. “If you don’t like the rules, you should go to the City Council.”

Rosenheim said Agoura Village was envisioned as a city hub where residents could live, dine, shop and be entertained. He said that between the hotel, apartments, shops and offices, The Ave would offer a variety of gathering spaces for residents and visitors. He hinted there would be room for the city to host concerts in a public plaza and there could be a bocce ball court and other recreational opportunities at a hillside knoll that would be preserved.

For Cornerstone to proceed, developers were told to scale back the removal of 29 oak trees in order to meet legal compliance.

At The Ave, 17 of the 21 oak trees that need to be uprooted will be relocated on the site, Rosenheim said. Ten newly planted oak trees on Agoura Road will also be relocated and 67 new oak trees will be planted.


It’s expected that the development will add more than 3,000 car trips per day to the already busy Kanan Road-Agoura Road intersection. But according to a developers’ traffic study, only 149 trips during peak morning hours and 263 extra car trips during peak evening hours would be generated.

“I don’t believe the streets will be significantly impacted (and) I don’t believe there is a safety hazard,” Rosenheim said. But it’s a corner that regularly bears the brunt of summer beach traffic from the Valley to T.O.”

David Shender, the developer’s traffic engineer, said when Agoura Village is fully built residents could expect more than 20,000 additional car trips on local roads, spread throughout the day and evening.

“It’s all about the traffic problems because the traffic now is already prohibitive,” said resident Jon Cavanaugh, adding that emergency vehicles could be stuck in traffic during an emergency.

Rosenheim said the environmental review process engages public safety agencies, including the fire and police departments.


Resident Penny Sylvestor asked about the rental price range for the apartments. Rosenheim said all units will be offered at the market rate. Other residents expressed concern about the ability of a hotel to achieve occupancy due to the large number of rooms already available throughout the Conejo Valley.

Rosenheim read written questions. One person wondered about the need for additional office space since many office buildings in the area remain vacant. Rosenheim said the office space in The Ave would be occupied by the developers.

Regarding the housing, Michelle Barbour of Agoura Hills said, “What’s frustrating about this is that three-quarters of (the project) is apartments, with one quarter for residents to use.”

Residents are also worried the decade-old Agoura Village plan already needs revision.

“The Agoura Village concept is outdated,” former Agoura Hills Mayor Joan Yacovone said. “It doesn’t make sense anymore.”

“I truly believe we need to look at all future projects with a new consciousness and a new set of eyes,” said Agoura resident Larry Brown. “It is a different world than it was in the 2000s when this thing was being considered.”

To continue with their project, The Ave developers must submit an environmental impact study that meets the demands of the California Environmental Quality Act.

Thousand Oaks Acorn: Mixed Use Proposed at Former Lupe’s Site

A site that had come to represent Thousand Oaks’ past may serve as a window into its future. T.O.-based Daly Group Inc. filed an application with the city this month to build a mixed-use housing development consisting of 36 apartments and three retail spaces in the 1700 block of E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., former home of Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant, which closed in August after 69 years in business.

If approved, the Daly project would be the first of its kind in the city, and the first since the City Council passed the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Specific Plan in 2011 calling for such development. “As soon as I saw it, I thought, “That’s what we’re talking about”, Mayor Joel Price told the Acorn this week. “This is a place where even the developers themselves would want to do business, sit outside in the morning and have coffee or maybe a drink at night.”

The European-style design includes two three-story buildings, one housing apartments and the other incorporating apartments over retail. A meandering path leads from the boulevard to the center of the development. A fountain near the entrance would pay tribute to the Zuniga family, which owned the land and operated Lupe’s from 1947 through August of this year.

The city’s 25th anniversary oak, planted in 1989 when T.O. turned 25, would remain. The Daly Group’s intention is to attract a café and bistro to the property that would serve both tenants and the general public, according to plans. Because Daly is requesting 36 housing units—the number of units that remain of those allocated for that portion of the boulevard under the specific plan—the developer does not need to go before the City Council.

Daly will, however, have to get planning commission approval to address the housing and retail element as well as any trees protected under the city’s recently revised tree ordinance, which says any commercial property owner wishing to remove any oak or landmark tree greater than 24 inches in diameter must go to the commission for approval.

The city is awaiting the developer’s tree report, but Daly has already indicated it would have to remove three sycamore trees adjacent to Thousand Oaks Boulevard, Senior Planner Steve Kearns said in an interview. “One of those trees is just at 24 inches, so that alone would trigger having to go to the planning commission”, he said. Before its date with the commission, Daly Group must first address questions from city staff, Kearns said. “We still have a few concerns we’ve communicated to the developer,” he said, adding that Daly has been quick to respond to questions and any requested changes. “They’ve made changes and added features that show they really want to play by our rules,” Kearns said. One of those features is a sitting area around the 25th anniversary tree, a large oak that stands on the east side of the former Lupe’s parking lot.

Also in design plans: a ground level parking structure for tenants and a parking lot for business patrons, with traffic entering and exiting on Zuniga Ridge Place, which runs between AutoZone and Leslie’s Pools. Those two businesses will remain in place. There will also be an entrance to a drop-off area near the current Lupe’s parking lot entrance. Apartment tenants would have access to a gym, a clubhouse and what Daly is calling a “spool,” a water feature that will be larger than a spa but a smaller than a traditional pool, Kearns said.

In another tribute to Lupe’s, the developers purchased some of the fixtures from the restaurant to use in the space, Kearns said. While there will always be residents who would like to see the city remain how it is, if not revert to the pastoral setting of 50 years ago, Price said, it’s vital to attract millennials and other younger residents who might go for the all-in-one type housing. “It would kill us if we didn’t find ways to bring young people back,” he said. “We need them in the job market; we need their tax money, and our schools need their children.”

One more need, he said, is to get a shovel in the ground. “I’m excited we’re at that point now,” Price said. “I think when people see it, they’ll say, ‘Oh, that’s what you’re talking about—it’s beautiful.’” The project has thus far passed muster with the Thousand Oaks Boulevard Association, president Shawn Moradian said. “The beautiful thing about it is Lupe’s was really a pioneer at the time it started . . . and in the same location, now a mixed-use project will take its place and will be the beginning of change for the boulevard,” he said.

Minnesota Snapshot: Hospitality Veterans Buy Rustic Lodge in Orr

During the past decade, real estate veteran Gary Collett has built California Commercial Investment Group Inc. into a company specializing in the acquisition, ownership and management of affordable senior apartment properties, creating a portfolio of about 6,000 units in 60 properties throughout 30 states.

In his company’s latest acquisition, West Falls Apartments LLC has paid Mesa, Arizona-based Roberts Properties $3.55 million for the 80-unit West Falls Apartments. The nine-building complex, which includes townhomes, is at 1641 20th Ave. in International Falls. The Westlake Village, California, buyer closed June 25 on the deal, which included an $888,000 down payment and a new mortgage.

The price works out to $44,375 per unit, a bargain compared to prices in bigger markets. The average sales price per unit for apartments in the Twin Cities metro area is $99,282, according to the Finance and Commerce Apartment Sales Tracker at The tracker has recorded the sales of 23,565 apartment units since Aug. 31, 2011.

“I was over there a week ago, and this was just in wonderful condition,” Collett said. He was impressed with the maintenance man who had been there 20 years and the manager who had been there since it opened 34 years ago.

What drew a southern California executive to the Canadian border town?

A broker in Detroit who knew about his interest in affordable housing brought the property to his attention Collett said. He had owned the 58-unit Heritage House senior apartments in St. Paul for years, so he is used to relying on his staff to handle individual acquisitions.

In this case, Collett, a native of Canada, heard about the property while working at his summer office, a vacation house in Lake of the Woods. “I said,’ I can just drive right over there and take a look at that,'” he said.



Agoura Residents Mobilize with Hopes to Scale Down Planned Construction

Three grassroots organizations of Agoura area residents banned together last week in their effort to scale back a huge development planned at the intersection of Kanan and Agoura roads. One hundred-fifty members of SOS (Save Open Spaces), STACK (Save the Agoura Cornell Knoll) and PRISMM (Protectors and Residents of the Santa Monica Mountains) met to organize their efforts in what they called “responsible development.” While trying to preserve the rural charm of their neighborhood, activists said there will be dire consequences that will also affect Malibu if proposed development is approved as-is.

Agoura Village is proposed as a one-million square foot, 135-acre mixed-use development consisting of shops, restaurants, offices, theaters, apartments and a hotel.

Just Sold: California group buys Eden Prairie senior rentals

California Commercial Investment Group Inc. has paid $6.8 million for the 61-unit Edendale Senior Residence at 16700 Main St. in Eden Prairie.

Ojai’s first new residential development in 10 years leads the way with innovative work-live housing

Proposed development brings shops, apartments —and citizen concerns

With a $1.75-billion commitment from the state budget and more than a dozen new bills in the works, Gov. Gavin Newsom late last year set a goal of building 3.5 million new homes over the next five years—and made a promise to meet California’s housing shortage head-on.

One developer is ready to build 118 apartments in Agoura Hills, but says progress on the project has been slow due to a number of roadblocks in the way.

“Ground zero, Agoura Hills”— as Brian Poliquin of PK architects describes it—is an 18.5-acre planned development at the southeast corner of Agoura and Kanan roads known as The Ave (Agoura Village East).

Retired Tigers Apartments Hosts Open House

Retired Tigers Senior Apartments held an open house Monday to show off the updates to the property.

The open house targeted disabled people and those 62 and older, since those are the people who are qualified to live in the apartments, but anyone was invited to the open house, said property manager Brandon Prater.

The point of the open house was so people can come in to see the improvements the apartment complex has made, as well as what benefits and services they provide for the 82 apartments.

“The property has gone through a lot of changes throughout the last year, year-and-a-half with management, maintenance, the entire staff has been completely revamped and we’ve made a lot of improvements throughout,” said Prater, saying the changes were made due to new management as he’s been property manager for the last 1-1/2 years.

Retired Tigers Take Precautions, Receives Donations For Residents

By Liz Shepherd
WARSAW — A local apartment complex’s staff are working diligently to keep residents informed and safe during the pandemic while also receiving donations of essential items and services from many in the community.

Retired Tigers Senior Apartments, 320 W. Main St., Warsaw, primarily houses those who are 62 and older and/or disabled of any age. Since older adults fall into the high-risk category for COVID-19, staff members have been taking many precautions to keep residents safe, while also making sure they have essential items.

“We used to have our community room open where we would host Bingo, card games or presentations,” said Melanie McGinnis, Retired Tigers service coordinator. “But that’s now closed off to keep our residents safe.”

Even though Bingo nights are on hold for the time being, McGinnis is making sure residents stay entertained through a variety of means such as making weekly phone calls to check how they’re doing in isolation and putting crosswords on their doors. Property Manager Brandon Prater conducts wellness checks on residents while also working to keep residents informed and calm.

“The residents understand that we’re looking out for their best interests and that everything is going to be fine if we just follow instructions and use common sense,” said Prater. “I’ve gotten several calls from people who just call to say that they appreciate what we’re doing.”

Access to the apartment complex’s food pantry has also slightly changed. Residents now have to call McGinnis for specific items they need from the pantry rather than physically visit.

“We’ve had to make some changes in how we function, but we’re still getting things done that need to get done,” said Prater.

The apartment’s maintenance staff and porter are also disinfecting the building on a daily basis.

“On top of their routine things, they are constantly sanitizing left and right, every day, on cue,” said McGinnis.

Several organizations and people have also donated supplies and services to apartment residents. David Neff, Kosciusko Community Senior Services executive director, has been picking up groceries for residents who order online through Owen’s Supermarket. Before the pandemic, KCSS workers took Retired Tigers residents out twice a week to go shopping.

“They order it online and we go pick it up for them,” said Neff. “But everything we do is to help them. This is a unique situation for everyone but we’re very proud to be a part of this community. Retired Tigers’ staff is doing awesome and excellent work to keep both residents and staff safe through all of this.”

Other organizations and people who have assisted Retired Tigers include Ken Locke, Salvation Army; World Compassion Network; Clunette United Methodist Church; Janet Harrison, REAL Services; Kosciusko Home Care and Hospice; and Scott Clay and Dave Barfell.

Clay and Barfell are community members who donated masks to the residents.

“Every single resident now has a mask because of them,” said McGinnis. “It’s absolutely wonderful.”

“It’s really been amazing because a lot of the people, we haven’t even contacted and asked,” said Prater. “It’s amazing what people are willing to do in the community.”

“I’m really blessed to not only work in this community, but to be able to live here and see how people pull together in times like this,” said McGinnis.

1710 on the BLVD – City of Thousand Oaks Annual State of the City Address

Thousand Oaks Acorn: Mixed Use Passes Muster

Work could begin as soon as this summer on a first-of-its-kind development in the city.

On Monday, the Thousand Oaks Planning Commission voted 3-1 in favor of a request to build a three-story mix of residential and retail less than a quarter-mile from the Civic Arts Plaza.

Applicant Vince Daly of Daly Group Inc. said after the Feb. 13 hearing that he would waste no time in starting construction at the site, a 5-acre property on Thousand Oaks Boulevard formerly home to Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant.

“We like to move fast,” Daly said. “Next we go into the construction drawings phase, which can take from three to six months, then we should start construction. Hopefully we’ll build the project in a year from there.”



Thousand Oaks Acorn Editorial: Thousand Oaks Tackles Housing Blues

We received another gloomy report last week on Ventura County’s economy that cited the usual suspects —lack of jobs, lack of housing and especially lack of housing that people can afford. The Thousand Oaks Planning Commission, however, lifted our spirits this week with approval of some badly needed apartments in its city core.

We have long decried the county’s severe lack of affordable housing. Save Open-space and Agricultural Resources growth-control laws have prevented urban sprawl, but the corollary of that — so-called “infill” development in core urban areas — is often thwarted by NIMBYism, general anti-growth sentiments and weakwilled city leaders.


Thousand Oaks Acorn: Trees pose challenge for highly touted mixed-use project

A proposal to build Thousand Oaks Boulevard’s fi rst mixed-use development is scheduled to go before the city’s planning commission next month.

The applicant, T.O.-based Daly Group Inc., is seeking to transform the former home of Lupe’s Mexican Restaurant into a two-building, three-story blend of residential and retail, with 36 apartments and three spaces for businesses. A date with the planning commission is tentatively set for Feb. 13.

Five years after city leaders adopted a new set of design standards and guidelines for the boulevard that included incentives to build mixed use, Daly’s proposal would be the first such project to reach the commission. Previous mixed-use applications—including Rick Principe’s plan for the former Conejo Valley Veterinary Hospital site—never made it past the planning stages.


Ojai Valley News: Pearl Street Project Underway

Dozers and backhoes were busy this week as construction got under wat in Ojai on the long awaited Craftsman Village. We’re digging trenches for plumbing and grading off areas for concrete,” said Aaron Emery, owner of the Santa Clarita-based Emery Construction, the builder contracted for the project. The concrete, he said, would probably be poured by Oct. 13.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Rick Nielsen. “We’re really excited to finally be here.” Nielsen and business partner David Schuman are the principals in Raven Ridge Development, the Westlake Village owners of the forthcoming mixed-use property. Both men were on-site Oct. 12 as the trenches were cut at 611 Pearl St.



Press Release: Fickett Towers – Renovation of Affordable Housing

California Commercial Investment Group, Inc. (CCI), a California-based national affordable housing preservation and development firm, is proud to announce the Grand Opening of Fickett Towers Senior Apartments in Van Nuys, CA, an age-restricted, 55 and older HUD Project-Based Section 8 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Property.

An important part of Los Angeles’ affordable portfolio since approximately 1972, Fickett Towers was in danger of conversion to a market rate apartment complex, which would have resulted in hundreds of elderly residents losing their homes. The affordability covenants governing the apartment complex were set to expire along with the HAP contract providing rental subsidy to the elderly residents. The property was purchased in 2012 and then refinanced using a tax exempt bond and 4% LIHTCs, with permanent debt via HUD’s 223(f) loan program. The transaction included a long term renewal of the existing rental subsidy contract and the placement of extended use restrictions on the property, ensuring affordable housing to Los Angeles’s elderly and disabled residents for decades to come.


Press Release: Los Angeles Gardens, CASA Development, and Mariposa Manor – Better Buildings Challenge

Congratulations to California Commercial Investment (CCI) Group for taking the Challenge!

We are proud to have enrolled three of the California Commercial Investment (CCI) Group’s building portfolio into LABBC’s Affordable Housing Initiative (AHI). The addition of Los Angeles Gardens, CASA Development, and Mariposa Manor bring a total of 18 buildings to the program. CCI is interested in implementing energy and water efficiency projects across their units, as well as participation in the LABBC’s Tenant Engagement Platform (TEP).

New Partner Buildings: Los Angeles Gardens, CASA Development, and Mariposa Manor

The City of Los Angeles has set a goal to achieve 20% energy and water savings by 2020 across 30 million square feet of existing buildings as part of the Better Buildings Challenge, a national leadership initiative from the Department of Energy, which calls on public and private sector leaders to demonstrate the benefits of modernizing America’s existing buildings.


Affordable Housing News: Pioneer & Peaceful Haven/Fickett Towers – Fulfilling Their Mission

Owner/Operater Makes Best Decisions To Benefit Properties For The Long Term

The oil boom in North Dakota over the past several years has created a high demand for quality affordable housing throughout the state, especially for senior citizens in Dickinson. California Commercial Investment (CCI) Group owner of Pioneer/Peaceful Haven a 106 apartment community has extensively upgraded the property over the past year. The rehabilitation effort will result in 106 affordable senior apartments.

“This is a project-based Section 8 property that we wanted to preserve for the long term,” says Danielle Ohana Hastie, Director of Operations and Asset Management. “Right now in Dickinson, rents are doubling and tripling every year, and you have all these people moving into the state because of the oil boom.”


Spokesman-Review: California group buys Spokane’s Park Tower Apartments

A California company specializing in owning and managing affordable and low-income housing has purchased the 20-story Park Tower Apartments across from the Spokane Convention Center.

Built in 1973, the Park Tower has 184 units for seniors and disabled residents, most of whom are able to afford rents in the building through federal housing assistance.

The new owner is California Commercial Investments of Westlake Village, Calif. It owns and manages about 50 properties with nearly 5,000 units across the country. It provides affordable housing and conventional housing, said Danielle Hastie, a company spokeswoman.


Press Release: Pioneer & Peaceful Haven – Renovation of Affordable Housing

Renovated Complex Brings Affordable Housing for North Dakota’s Low Income Seniors

California Commercial Investment (CCI), a California-based national affordable housing preservation and development firm, is proud to announce the Grand Opening of Peaceful- Pioneer Havens Senior Apartments in Dickinson, North Dakota. CCI, along with elected officials, community leaders and other stakeholders will celebrate Peaceful-Pioneer Havens, an age-restricted, 55 and older HUD Project-Based Section 8 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Property.

Peaceful- Pioneer Haven’s grand opening ceremony will take place Friday October 4th from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the on-site, newly refurbished community room.


Poughkeepsie Journal: Lakeview Arms Senior Apartments to get $264,185 Federal Grant

A Town of Poughkeepsie apartment complex for senior citizens and people with disabilities has won a federal grant that helps keep people in their own apartment homes.

The Lakeview Arms Senior Citizens Apartments, a 71-unit complex overlooking Morgan Lake on Creek Road, will get $264,185 from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, according to an announcement from HUD.

The property is owned by the California Commercial Investment Group, which applied for the grant. Scott Heaton, director of the management division of the company, said it would enable the hiring of a full-time service coordinator at the site once the contract is signed.



Dickinson Press: Renovating Pioneer Haven

The residents of Pioneer Haven have smiles on their faces as new appliances, cabinets, flooring, windows and bathroom fixtures were installed in their apartments.

“We revamped all the apartments from the ground up,” said Scott Heaton, director of the management division. “We’re fully committed to the Dickinson market.”

Pioneer Haven is a 6-acre complex, having 17 residential structures with 106 apartments and a community center. It provides low-income subsidized housing for individuals age 62 years and older.

It is owned by Peaceful Pioneer Parters LP, headquartered in Westlaske Village, Calif.


Los Angeles Times: Fickett Towers Purchased

A Van Nuys apartment building named after a Navy chaplain was sold for more than $15 million to a provider of affordable housing for the elderly.

Fickett Towers, a 200-unit senior housing complex at 14801 Sherman Way, was acquired by California Commercial Investment Co., real estate broker H. Bruce Hanes of Hanes Investment
Realty Inc. said. The seller was Shepherd of the Hills Church of Porter Ranch.


Fort Worth Star-Telegram: Vega Place – House Calls Help Seniors Stay Healthy

Medical house calls are a rarity, particularly at Vega Place Senior Apartments, where most of the residents are on Medicare.

That is changing, however, and it could be catching on elsewhere.

Through a new program, partially supported by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, doctors and nurse practitioners are visiting many of the 109 residents at Vega Place, a government-subsidized apartment complex for senior citizens and people disabilities.

It’s called the House Call program, said Ja’net Huling, who dreamed up the idea, which has received a three-year $176,000 HUD grant.

Huling said the goal is to help people “to age in place longer and better.”


Dickinson Press: Pioneer & Peaceful Havens – Affordable Senior Housing Gets Update

Some of Dickinson’s most vulnerable residents have a remodeled place to live at Peaceful-Pioneer Havens Senior Apartments.

The owners of California Commercial Investment, along with representatives from the state and city governments, celebrated the grand re-opening of the apartments. Friday at the complex’s community center at 1043 Enterprise Ave.

The 106-unit apartment complex is income-based for individuals who are at least 55 years old. The investment company worked with the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency to renovate all units in the complex.

“We’re so proud that we were able to get this community upgraded” said Gary Collett, co-president of California Commercial Investment. “We felt it was time.”


HUD Homes and Communities: Vega Place – First All-Seniors Complex in Fort Worth Opens Learning Center

Fort Worth Multifamily Hub staff recently joined the property managers and residents of the Vega Place Senior Apartments August 16, in celebrating the grand opening of Fort Worth’s first-ever Neighborhood Networks Learning Center in an “all-seniors” housing complex. The Vega Place Neighborhood Networks Learning Center became the learning and activities center of the one-hundred-plus Section 8-assisted senior citizens living at the complex and the numerous other elderly citizens who will also participate in the activities offered at the center.

The learning center includes a computer center equipped with four stand-alone computers, two lap-top computers, a printer, a scanner and a digital camera, most of which were donated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Fort Worth office. The facility also includes a clothes care center and a club room which is transformed every first and third Tuesday of the month into a grocery store for the Vega Place’s Food Bank program.


HUD Homes and Communities: Vega Place – Manager Conquers Senior’s Surfing

Fort Worth, TX —”Two and a half years ago, most senior citizens here had never touched a computer. They were totally opposed to bringing ‘those machines’ or a Neighborhood Networks center here,” recalls Ja’net Huling, manager of Vega Place Senior Apartments in Fort Worth, Texas. “It took me over a year to convince residents that computers could bring them lots of benefits—like Internet access to less costly prescriptions. Not only have residents overcome reluctance about using computers, they are really enthusiastic about all the possibilities that computers and the Internet open up to them.”

How did Huling change attitudes? “At our monthly resident meetings, I would bring up a computer-related topic, like using the Internet to find better deals on prescriptions.” Once people understood this, they realized that it would be worth learning some basic computer skills to be able to explore different Web sites. Gradually, she won converts and 100 percent of the residents supported opening a Neighborhood Networks Center at Vega Place. “Residents really like living here, and the center has made life even better.”


HUD Homes and Communities: Vega Place – The ‘Good Old Days’ Are Back for Fort Worth Seniors

Remember the good old days when doctors often made house calls? Well, for some residents of Fort Worth’s Vega Place Senior Apartments, the good old days are back. Through a program called House Calls, doctors and nurse practitioners are visiting many of the 104 residents at Vega Place, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized apartment community for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Primary medical services can now be offered in the convenience of the patient’s home.

After being awarded a three-year Service Coordination Grant from HUD totaling $176,000, Ja’net Huling, then Vega Place property manager, began considering better ways to meet the medical needs of residents who were often unable to visit their doctors regularly. After becoming the service coordinator for Vega Place, she formed a unique partnership with a local health care provider, Health Essentials Solutions, Inc., and literally brought the House Calls program in-house. Approximately 90 percent of residents at Vega Place qualify for House Calls.


HUD Communities: Elderly in Las Vegas Get Free Energy Services

At 96, Rose Vana is the oldest resident of Arthur McCants Manor. She has been living at this complex for 26 years.

Residents of a 115 unit affordable senior housing complex received energy saving weatherization upgrades and other benefits from a free program. Crews installed energy efficient products and weatherization improvements. December 3rd, 2007 was the first day that work started at Arthur McCants Manor.

The whole complex is receiving about $200,000 of free services. The residents received free items and free installation of things like: high efficiency light bulbs, shower heads and faucet aerators; pipe, attic, and wall insulation; window and door caulking; weather stripping; programmable thermostats; air conditioner tune-ups and more.


Times-Union: Retired Tigers, KCSS Help Warsaw Man Find Home For First Time

Pernell Bailey carefully unlocked his second-level apartment door.

Inside, he proudly and exuberantly opened each cabinet door in his favorite room of his apartment, his kitchen.

After revealing his cabinets fully stocked with food and recently donated dished, he showed off the remaining rooms and discussed his decorating plans. It’s been almost three weeks, but after moving in his couch and table, he’s planning all of the finishing touches.

At 67 years old, and for the first time in his entire life, he has his very own home.



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