Salinas Mayor Kimberly Craig recently joined the Central California Alliance for Health, MidPen Housing staff, residents, and others to celebrate the grand opening of Moon Gate Plaza (formerly called 21 Soledad Street) — an innovative, mixed-use, affordable rental apartment community developed by MidPen Housing.
Watch the Grand Opening video here:
The result of a partnership between the City of Salinas and MidPen Housing, Moon Gate Plaza represents a significant step toward realizing a longtime vision to revitalize Salinas’ historic Chinatown, a neighborhood rich in cultural heritage, while addressing the area’s growing homeless population. Construction was completed in late 2019 and welcomed residents in early 2020. Several households were moved in safely during the beginning of the COVID pandemic.
“We’re a prototype of success that so many communities can learn from,” said Sarah, a formerly unhoused resident at Moon Gate. “I want people to understand that Salinas is a destination, a place to be reckoned with. It’s setting a tone for an entire community that’s full of people and companies to be reckoned with.”
Moon Gate Plaza will provide 90 brand-new apartment homes for low- and extremely low-income households, including the formerly homeless. Free onsite supportive services, combined with affordable housing will provide the foundation for Moon Gate Plaza residents to improve their lives. They will also enjoy many community amenities, including a courtyard with community gardens, a community room with a kitchen, and a multi-purpose services room, including a library.
Moon Gate’s ground floor commercial space reflects MidPen’s commitment to neighborhood revitalization with suites designated for the City of Salinas, Asian Cultural Experience and Urban Arts Collaborative. The City will have staff from their street outreach team, planning department and police department working on site.
“At MidPen, we know that providing the stability of permanent housing creates tremendous opportunity in our residents’ lives,” said Matt Franklin, President, and CEO of MidPen Housing. “And with the mix of housing units with ground floor commercial space for health, wellness and education services and arts and other cultural programming, we are creating space for partners in the community to join us in serving and supporting our residents.”
“We have loved helping the new residents move in,” Franklin continued, “It’s one of the most fulfilling parts of the work we do at MidPen, seeing new communities come alive.”
Through a groundbreaking collaboration between MidPen Housing and the Central California Alliance for Health (CCAH), Moon Gate connects housing and health services for the highest utilizers of the healthcare system. CCAH’s Medi-Cal Capacity Grant reduces strain on the healthcare system through investment in supportive housing development.
Moon Gate Plaza provides permanent supportive housing to special needs populations. Twenty units of housing are earmarked for “high utilizers” of the health care system who are homeless and have a disability or multiple chronic health conditions. These high utilizers are referred by the County Health Department to meet the eligibility criteria of the CCAH. An additional 20 units of housing are set aside for Interim, Inc. to serve persons with mental illness.
Financing for the $39.9M development was provided by the City of Salinas, the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the Central California Alliance for Health, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Dahlin Group Architectural Planning was the architect, and the contractor is Ausonio, Inc. MidPen Property Management Corp. will provide onsite professional property management.