St. Teresa Supportive Housing Tower in East Village Opens for Homeless


St. Teresa of Calcutta Villa opened its doors this month to an estimated 500 people.  The $148 million permanent housing development is a part of Father Joe’s Villages’ (FJV) “Turning the Key” initiative to bring 2,000 affordable housing units to San Diego in an effort to solve homelessness.  Turning the Key will be funded through a public-private partnership that leverages existing public dollars and private contributions.   JWDA was retained by Chelsea Investment Corporation in partnership with FJV to provide full architectural services on the project.

At 300,000-square-feet, St. Teresa is the largest supportive housing facility in San Diego.  This 14- and 7-story mixed-use tower accommodates 407 units, ground-level tenant and supportive services and new FJV office headquarters. Tower amenities include multipurpose space, offices, employment education services, courtyard space, lounge, entry lobby and mail room, community rooms, shared laundry rooms, grand dining area, and roof/garden terraces.  270 of the 407 units are reserved for chronically homeless individuals while the remaining units will go to formerly homeless veterans, families, and other individuals.  Unit sizes include studios at 350-square-feet, 1-bedrooms at 570-square-feet and 2-bedrooms at 830-square-feet; each equipped with full kitchens and bathrooms. These safe and secure homes are coupled with on-site and off-site services that promote well-being and self-sufficiency.

The architecture for St. Teresa is clean and modern, with floor-to-ceiling storefront used to form the building corner at 14th and Commercial as well as outline the 14-story tower component.  Angled roof lines, pop-outs and canopies cap the varying levels of the building mass, working together to give St. Teresa a unique identity within the urban context.  In all, the new complex stands strong compared to the nearby luxury apartments.

The JWDA team includes Joseph Wong FAIA; Bert Shear RA; Rodrigo Muniz AIA, LEED AP BD+C; Chris Fassler RA; Eduardo Franco.

Owner:  Father Joe’s Villages

Developer:  Chelsea Investment Corporation

Architect:  JWDA

Interior Design:  Design Line Interiors

Structural Engineer:  BWE

M/P Engineer:  Randall Lamb Associates

Electrical Engineer:  RBC Engineers

Landscape Architect:  GMP

Construction Manager:  Emmerson Construction Inc.

GC:  Level10 Construction