NEWS

SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS ADDS MARKETING AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Carlsbad (May 2024) – Sun Country Builders, the multi-family housing general contractor specializing in quality affordable housing throughout Southern California, has announced the addition of Carolina Alban-Stoughton as marketing & business development manager. In her role, Alban-Stoughton aids the company’s growth by leading client relationship interaction, identifying new business opportunities, and overseeing the company’s marketing, business development and public relations’ initiatives.
“We are pleased to welcome Carolina to the Sun Country Builders team,” said Sun Country Builders president John Ahlswede. “Her penchant for strategic and creative thinking, and her extensive experience in communications and marketing will aid us as we continue our steady growth.”
Alban-Stoughton has a wealth of marketing, communications and content creation experience. Prior to joining Sun Country Builders, Alban-Stoughton was senior content strategist for Carlsbad-based irrigation company Calsense, where her primary focus was increasing the company’s brand awareness. Prior to that, she was director of communication and engagement at the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, where she led member and community engagement efforts, adapting them successfully during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An effective storyteller and content creator, her work was showcased in the hit television series America’s Most Wanted. As a native Spanish speaker, she was responsible for Hispanic media outreach and bilingual services for the late U.S. Senator Harry Reid.

Alban-Stoughton is the winner of four Excellence in Journalism Awards from The San Diego Press Club for her articles in the Carlsbad Business Journal. She earned her M.A. in Broadcast Journalism and Public Affairs from American University and her B.A. in Communications from Universidad de Lima.

CARLSBAD BUILDER MADE A CAREER BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Sun Country Builders was profiled in The San Diego Business Journal.

Article PDF

FORMER MOTEL TO BECOME SUPPORTIVE HOUSING IN ANAHEIM

Linc Housing, Sun Country Builders, and Y&M Architects have commenced construction on a new Project Homekey site in Orange County which will convert a former motel into permanent supportive housing.

Article in URBANIZE

BUILDING YOUR FOUNDATION: MARKET TRENDS

HVAC Refrigerant Change

By 2025, the Environmental Protection Agency has mandated that all HVAC manufacturers stop producing HVAC systems that rely on the R410A refrigerants. With the R410A refrigerant commonly used in the apartment projects we build, we’ll need to consider the following:

Equipment Changes
In December 2024, all manufacturers will stop making R-410A systems. All existing R-410A systems must be installed and operational by December 2025. Starting January 2026, only R-454B systems will be allowed for installation and operational use.

Construction and Code Changes
It isn’t clear how this refrigerant change might change how structures are built, or whether building codes may be updated as a direct result. It also remains to be seen how each municipality reacts and how and when they will enforce the use of the new refrigerant.

“I have read articles that explain how the new refrigerant is more flammable. There is not a lot of clarity yet on how the risk associated with the higher flammability of the refrigerant is to be ‘contained’ in future building code revisions. Currently refrigerants are routed, via copper lines, through the buildings in any voids in the superstructure that can be captured. To protect the building from a higher flammability due to the new refrigerants, will the codes be re-written to address that higher flammability, or will the code writers/cities/etc. decide there is no additional risk and deem the codes do not need to address it?,” says Craig Perry, Construction Manager at PointSource Construction Management.

If the codes are re-written, will we be incorporating one or two-hour rated shafts in the buildings? Will they need to be sprinkled, ventilated, or exhausted with fire louvers? Will they require smoke detectors and fire dampers? We just don’t know yet.

What is clear, though: this change is happening. Everyone needs to look out for these new systems when reviewing plans for upcoming projects and a group effort will make this transition as smooth as possible.

Considerations That Need to be Made:

1. Be mindful of your operational date.
If you have a project underway or are getting ready to start a project, assess your operational date. If it is comfortably prior to 12/31/2025 then use the R410A HVAC systems that are more than likely already specified. BE SURE TO ANTICIPATE THAT THE PROJECT COMPLETION (OPERATIONAL DATE) MAY BE DELAYED DUE TO TYPICAL CONSTRUCTION DELAYS. Give yourself a cushion.

2. Consider securing an R-410A unit ahead of time.
For those planning to install a R-410A system by the end of 2025, you’ll need to ensure the manufacturer will have the equipment on hand to supply your project.

Manufacturers will phase out the units, so it may be in contractors’ best interest to order the units ahead of time and store them until ready for installation. This would require a “material stored” item in the pay requests and the developer would want to be sure the bank will fund this request.

3. Identify whether an equipment change is necessary.
If your project seems to be close to, or past December 2025, you may want to make an equipment change prior to the stage of construction where the rough installation takes place. Carrier states that new equipment will be available to be priced in the coming weeks, and available for initial rough-in by May 2024. It also estimates that the R-454B equipment will cost approximately 15% more than R-410A.

CITY HEIGHTS PLAZA DEL SOL MURALIST, JOSUÉ BALTÉZAR, PROFILED IN THE SAN DIEGO UNION TRIBUNE.

Josue Baltezar is a local Mexican-American artist who was the lead muralist for the six-panel murals on the Plaza del Sol apartment complex in City Heights. The six panels were designed to represent the ethnicity in City Heights. Somalia, Ethiopian, Kumeyaay, Latino and Vietnamese, and the sixth panel is a representation of San Diego’s regional diversity.

The San Diego Union Profile

SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS’ ERICA DOWDY RECOGNIZED IN SAN DIEGO BUSINESS JOURNAL’S 2024 WOMEN OF INFLUENCE IN CONSTRUCTION

Congratulations to Erica Dowdy for this well deserved recognition.

COMMUNITY, DEVELOPERS CELEBRATE OPENING OF $75M AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROJECTS

The Times of San Diego has written about Sun Country Builder’s City Heights projects. Plaza del Sol and City Heights Place are open and will provide 135 affordable apartment homes to the area. 

The Times of San Diego Article

SERENADE ON 43rd IN THE NEWS

Sun Country Builders has partnered with Wakeland Housing & Development Corp. and Housing Innovation Partners on this project in the North Park neighborhood of San Diego. 

SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS NAMED DEVELOPMENT PARTNER OF THE YEAR 

The Sun Country Builders team is thrilled to have been named the 2022 Development Partner of the Year.  We gratefully thank those who nominated us. 

In 2023, Sun Country Builders will again sponsor the Ruby Award for Outstanding Service to Residents.  We’re pleased to support the San Diego Housing Federation through this sponsorship, and we’re very happy to be able to recognize those who do such important work in serving the residents of the communities that we build. 

SUN COUNTRY WORKS WITH SDSU

Poway, CA
Sun Country Builders hosts the San Diego State University construction management program at Mercy Housing’s Villa de Vida jobsite in Poway. Sun Country is committed to building the next generation of construction professionals.

VILLA HERMOSA PHASE II

Indio, CA
Developer: – Coachella Valley Housing Coalition
We’re looking forward to delivering this project in August. Thanks, CVHC!

SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS GIVES BACK

Sun Country’s Giving Back program took us to a Turnagain Arms, a Community HousingWorks property in Fallbrook, CA, where Sun Country staff members and their families spent a Saturday doing maintenance work.  Thanks, CHW for giving us the opportunity to give back. 

SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS PROJECTS HONORED AT 2018 PCBC GOLD NUGGET AWARDS

Sun Country Builders congratulates Community HousingWorks and BRIDGE Housing on their 2018 Gold Nugget Awards nominations. We look forward to seeing everyone at PCBC in San Francisco.

SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS PROJECT HONORED AT 2017 PCBC GOLD NUGGET AWARDS
Sun Country Builders congratulates San Diego Interfaith Housing Foundation on their 2017 Gold Nugget Award of Merit honoring Iowa Street Seniors
JOHN AHLSWEDE NAMED
DEVELOPMENT PARTNER OF THE YEAR
John Ahlswede with SDHF Executive Director Steve Russell
at the 2017 Ruby Awards

Sun Country Builders is extremely proud to announce our president, John Ahlswede, was honored by the San Diego Housing Federation at their 2017 Ruby Awards event as Outstanding Development Partner. Since 1990, the San Diego Housing Federation has worked to ensure that all San Diegans, regardless of income, have a chance at a safe, stable and affordable place to call

home. The annual Ruby Awards is the county’s largest affordable housing industry recognition event honoring the best people, projects, and achievements during the past year. Nominees for the prestigious Outstanding Development Partner award exemplify what it means to be a partner who provided outstanding support on an affordable housing development. With a career that spans three decades building affordable housing, John brings a high level of expertise and skill to his work. Moreover, combined with his collaborative approach and flexibility in partnerships, he has made Sun Country Builders the “go-to” General Contractor for our affordable housing developments.

John is deeply grateful to have been named Development Partner of the Year 2017 San Diego Housing Federation Ruby Awards and thanks in particular the three clients who together submitted the nomination, Community HousingWorks, San Diego Interfaith Housing Foundation, and Wakeland Housing & Development for the confidence they have placed in Sun Country Builders, and thanks also all of Sun Country’s clients, colleagues, and friends from the past 35 years of building and rehabilitating affordable housing.
Thousands of homes constructed, thousands of families
housed.
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE:
SDSU CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT STUDENTS VISIT WORK SITE

Sun Country Builders was recently pleased to host 28 Construction Management students from the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering at San Diego State University. The setting
for the field work was the North Park Seniors project in San Diego, of which Community HousingWorks is the developer.

Sun Country is particularly interested in fostering the development of the next generation of construction professionals, and intends to pursue discussions regarding future opportunities for the students. And a special thank you to CHW for allowing and participating in the walk, and for giving Sun Country the opportunity to build the project!

For more information on the
Construction Engineering program:
http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/admissions/majors/construction.htm

SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS’ COMMUNITIES
HONORED AT 2016 PCBC GOLD NUGGET AWARDS
The Sun Country Builders’ team proudly accepts three 2016 PCBC Gold Nugget Awards for Home Front at Camp Anza and North Santa Fe Apartments.

Home Front at Camp Anza, Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation providing badly needed housing for veterans’ and their families, this project also reused a historic building from a World War II military camp. Gold Nugget Award – Affordable Housing Community under 30 Units Per Acre; and Gold Nugget Award – Best Renovated, Restored, or Adaptive Re-Use Residential Project.

North Santa Fe Apartments, Community HousingWorks. This community core, transit-oriented project has now been recognized for sustainability. Gold Nugget Award – Sustainable Residential Community.
SUN COUNTRY BUILDERS SELECTED AS
GENERAL CONTRACTOR FOR HISTORY-MAKING COMMUNITY
Dave Gatzke of San Diego affordable housing developer Community HousingWorks, being interviewed by KPBS regarding the upcoming senior LGBT affordable apartments project to be built in the North Park neighborhood, San Diego.
Sun Country Builders is deeply honored and grateful to have been selected as general contractor for Community HousingWorks’ history-making community.
North Park Seniors in the News
Read the article by Gary Warth, The San Diego Union-Tribune
IOWA STREET SENIOR HOUSING
ON SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER COMPLETION
Iowa Street Senior Housing is an urban infill project which will provide badly needed senior apartments in a neighborhood setting, surrounded by services and transit. Sun Country is building this important affordable housing community on behalf of San Diego Interfaith Housing Foundation.

Sun Country Builders was brought into the project early, and was able to work with the developer and the architect to manage the project budget, to eliminate surprises, and to meet project goals.

The community is comprised of four stories on a podium with 120 apartments.

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
TOURS IOWA STREET SENIORS PROJECT
Sun Country Builders hosted the second year Construction Engineering class from San Diego State University at the Iowa Street Seniors jobsite.  Professor Nensi Lakrori (kneeling, second from right) teaches ConE 280 – Construction materials. Sun Country Builders was represented by (back row, from left) Superintendent Ed Underwood, Assistant Super Dan Bailey, Director of Project Management and SDSU alum Brian Wardwell, and Project Manager Justin Vining.  Matt Jumper, President of San Diego Interfaith Housing, is the developer of the Iowa Street Seniors project, and also an SDSU alumnus.

Construction Engineering is a new program in the SDSU Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The program is supported by a generous endowment from the San Diego chapter of the Associated General Contractors.

For more information on the Construction Engineering program:  http://arweb.sdsu.edu/es/admissions/majors/construction.htm

Sun Country Builders has been building multi-family projects in Southern California for more than 30 years, and has specialized in affordable housing projects since the early 1980s.  Iowa Street Seniors, with 120 apartments in four stories on a concrete podium, will be completed in the Fall of 2016.

Sun Country is very pleased to have an opportunity to contribute to the next generation of builders.

CAMP ANZA IN THE NEWS

Los Angeles ABC 7 news covers Wakeland Housing’s Camp Anza Veterans Housing Project

Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation’s Home Front at Camp Anza project has caught the attention of ABC7 News, Los Angeles.  Wakeland, with general contractor Sun Country Builders, is rehabilitating a World War II Officers’ Club in Riverside, and building thirty homes which will house disabled veterans and their families.

A Historic Past

Camp Anza was a military camp during World War II and a staging area for the Los Angeles Port of Embarkation. When the United States entered World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, over 600,000 military personnel passed through the Camp over the course of three years. Numerous buildings were constructed, primarily wood army barracks. Other buildings, including a headquarters, an Officers’ Club, a chapel and a laundry facility, were added over time.   The Camp was decommissioned in 1946, and was subsequently subdivided for housing developments. Many of the buildings were demolished. Some of the barracks were converted into single-family homes on-site, and some were moved, and the buildings that were retained, including the Officers’ Club, were significantly modified. The use and look of Arlanza, as the Camp Anza area came to be known, changed greatly.

A Promising Future

Growing up in the 1960s in the Arlanza neighborhood of Riverside, a boy named Frank Teurlay played in and around the remnants of Camp Anza, and in adulthood, although he had moved away from Riverside, he began to find out all he could about the history of Camp Anza.  In particular, he became driven by the idea of preserving the Officers’ Club, and he approached city representatives, who were persuaded by his vision. In 2012, the City of Riverside issued an RFP for a project which would include the preservation of the Officers’ Club, and the construction of new housing for disabled veterans and their families.  What could be more appropriate?

Home Front at Camp Anza, and the Rehabilitation of the Officers’ Club
After the sale of the Camp Anza complex, and the repurposing or destruction of many of the buildings, the Officers’ Club stayed on, becoming a Moose Lodge for decades.  Eventually, however, the deteriorating building fell out of use. The RFP for renovation of the building, and for construction of housing for veterans, was won by Wakeland Housing and Development, a non-profit developer of affordable housing throughout California, and the project was named Home Front at Camp Anza.  Sun Country Builders, a general contractor which has specialized in the construction and renovation of affordable multi-family housing since the early 1980s was retained to do the construction work. Thirty new homes for disabled veterans and their families are being constructed, and every effort is being made to return the Officers’ Club to a condition as original as reasonably possible.  A historic consultant oversees the work and has set demanding standards for preservation. For instance, Sun Country Builders is carefully reinstalling the original Douglas Fir siding, and the original interior flooring has been saved, and will be re-installed. New foundations are also being constructed in place, beneath the building.
Postscript

Frank Teurlay recently said, “Great movies often have a moment of real darkness, of hopelessness, which gives meaning to the ultimate resolution.  That’s what has happened at Camp Anza. Helping to bring the Officers’ Club from the brink of demolition to preservation has been a journey of enormous satisfaction.”  It’s also resulted in enormous satisfaction for Sun Country Builders, as we are given the opportunity to contribute to the preservation and to the development of the community.

NORTH SANTA FE APARTMENTS
Vista, Calif.— Sun Country Builders has begun construction of North Santa Fe Apartments, in Vista, Calif, its eleventh project for Community HousingWorks, a San Diego-based not-for-profit real estate developer which specializes in developing affordable housing. The transit-oriented, high-density, smart growth community, scheduled to be completed by late summer of 2015, will add 68 much-needed affordable housing units to the community, directly across the street from the multi-modal Vista Transit Center, and a short walk from extensive commercial services. Ten of the units will be exclusively designated for homeless Transition Age Youth, who will be aging out of the state care system, and who will be given developmental support at North Santa Fe through the services of North County Lifeline.
Sun Country Builders provided pre-construction and cost-control services to CHW from the beginning of the design phase, and, working in close cooperation with Rodriguez Associates Architects and Planners, delivered a final construction budget which met the project’s original planning budget. Sun Country will deliver a finished project which will be GreenPoint Rated through the Build It Green system, including “green” and recycled building materials and which will perform 25 percent above California Energy Code Title 24 standards.

 

 

Land for the project was donated by the City of Vista and the City of Carlsbad provided Community Development Block Grant funding. Additional financing came via construction and permanent loans, and Low Income housing Tax Credit Equity, all provided by Union Bank.

North Santa Fe will bring Sun Country close to seventy multi-family housing projects completed since its founding, in Vista, in 1979.

RENAISSANCE AT NORTH PARK SENIOR APARTMENTS
The historic Heilig-Meyers Furniture Store at 30th & El Cajon Blvd. closed down in 2000 when the company filed for bankruptcy.
Like a phoenix, the aptly-named Renaissance at North Park rose from the ashes. Incorporating parts of the furniture store’s architecture and reclaimed glass blocks from the original storefront, we helped develop a new, high-profile mixed-use development in one of San Diego’s most up-and-coming neighborhoods.

Consisting of 96 units over three stories, this affordable housing complex specifically for seniors resides over a level of retail space and a common area at street level. Beneath it all sits almost a full one acre of underground parking.

We’re particularly proud of our work at Renaissance, providing a community center, lots of easily accessible business locations both for neighbors and as shopping destinations, and solid, quality housing in an historic neighborhood with a solid ethnic mix that doesn’t often see these kinds of results.