El Cajon opens construction on Cornerstone Place

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WEBGolden Shovels at the Ready.jpg

Leaders from the City of El Cajon and Domus Development hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for construction and development of an exciting new building complex at 230 South Sunshine Avenue on Tuesday, December 19. The planned mixed-use housing project in downtown El Cajon, called Cornerstone Place, will be built on a one-acre parcel with four stories of contemporary architecture featuring 70 affordable apartment units geared toward local families and military veterans and office spaces. Completion date is estimated to be April 2019.

Leaders from the City of El Cajon and Domus Development hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for construction and development of an exciting new building complex at 230 South Sunshine Avenue on Tuesday, December 19. The planned mixed-use housing project in downtown El Cajon, called Cornerstone Place, will be built on a one-acre parcel with four stories of contemporary architecture featuring 70 affordable apartment units geared toward local families and military veterans and office spaces. Completion date is estimated to be April 2019.

Maurice Ramirez, President of Domus Development, LLC, delivered opening remarks, starting off with, “Welcome to beautiful Sunshine Avenue, in sunshine. We couldn’t have picked a nicer day for this ceremony.” Ramirez thanked the City for the foresight to invest $3 million that will turn into a $30 million investment. Ramirez noted that the apartments will be rented with a veteran preference, and he spoke of the “great need” for affordable housing for those who have served defending the country. He described a homeless, disabled veteran he met earlier that morning, who was in a mobile wheelchair, and who was in the difficult position of living in a 5th wheel. 

The project is one of the “affordable housing, sustainable development program,” and the developers are working to achieve Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Silver design standards, including energy efficient appliances, water efficient fixtures and drought tolerant landscaping. Additionally, the developers are partnering with Metropolitan Transit System, and residents who move in will be given free three-year Metro passes to encourage use of transportation along Routes 815 and 816, which have bus stop benches adjacent to Cornerstone Place.

“We have a lot to celebrate today,” Ramirez said in concluding his welcome remarks.

The City has adopted a goal of bringing a new “true neighborhood” into the downtown area, and Mayor Bill Wells next took the podium to praise the “beautiful project,” which he said will be “the most beautiful apartment complex in the city.”

Wells described his personal interest in the project, citing his Marine Corps veteran son, the challenges he is facing in beginning a new chapter of life after military service, and how those challenges are common among those recently separated from the armed forces.

And then attendees at the gathering regrouped as principals involved in the Cornerstone Place development stood by ceremonial golden shovels for the first dig at the site.

Once completed, the building will have a central outdoor courtyard with fixed seating and children’s play area, and an indoor community room. Each apartment will incorporate a patio/balcony, and every residential floor will include a laundry room. Residents must be income qualified for the units.

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