CARLSBAD — The City Council unanimously approved the Hope Apartments, a four-story, 156-unit housing project during its Sept. 12 meeting.
The Hope Apartments is a complementary project to The Lofts, located west of Interstate 5 between Carlsbad Village Drive and Grand Avenue. The developer, Wermers Properties, met the state density bonus law by including 20 very low-income units, according to Shannon Harker, a senior planner with the city.
The development will offer studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units with 277 parking spaces in a subterranean garage. Other amenities include barbecues, fire pits, a pool and jacuzzi, electric vehicle charging stations and solar panels, plus 12,000 square feet of landscaped area. The project will demolish the Carlsbad Village Inn and three residential units.
“I care deeply about preserving what makes Carlsbad special,” said Austin Wermers, owner of Wermers Properties. “We buy, build and hold our properties long term.”
The developer will also conduct street improvements along Carlsbad Village Drive, including sidewalk widening in front of Carl’s Jr. to match the existing 10-foot-wide walkway in compliance with the mobility requirements of the Village and Barrio Master Plan.
Wermers will keep the existing trees along the street and plant five more trees at the western perimeter of the existing parking lot near Carl’s Jr. to soften the interface between the parking lot and the enhanced sidewalk.
Along Grand Avenue, the project will remove all existing frontage improvements along Grand Avenue and replace them with a new, six-foot-wide sidewalk; add a four-foot-wide parkway with street trees and pedestrian-scale street lighting; provide Americans with Disabilities Act-accessible ramps on both sides of Grand Avenue at the Hope Avenue alley intersection (the northeast and southeast corners); and dedicate a 30-foot-wide strip of right-of-way along Grand Avenue to the city.
The application for the project came at least one year before the council’s approval, therefore there were no objective design standards in place, a representative for Wermers Properties said.
However, the company followed the citizen committee’s suggestions regarding the architectural designs, selecting a “California contemporary” style to fit within the character of the Village and align with the new standards for the Village and Barrio Master Plan.
Wermers Properties is behind several other projects in Carlsbad, including a massive 329-unit rental apartment project on Aviara Parkway and Palomar Airport Road with 81 affordable units.