Construction begins on affordable housing complex near Capitol

Local News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Come 2022, a pile of rubble near the corner of 14th and O streets in downtown Sacramento will become a five-story, affordable apartment complex called Sonrisa.

“It’s a Spanish name that means ‘happy,'” special projects director Tom Kigar told FOX40.

Kigar said the Capitol Area Development Authority is answering Gov. Gavin Newsom’s call to develop more affordable housing units on state-owned land at a time where a typical one-bed, one-bathroom apartment in Sacramento — especially near the Capitol — costs between $1,900 to $3,000 a month.

“That’s why we’re really excited to offer this project. We’ve developed these 58 studio apartments, which are 267 square feet, and our rents start at $600 a month,” he explained.

It’s a price local resident John Lee said is mind-boggling for the area.

“$650 here, especially right here? That’s great for this area because a lot of people need affordable housing,” Lee said.

While 267 square feet sounds like a tight squeeze, Kigar said these apartments will be equipped with elevated ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows, a built-in kitchen table and fold-out Murphy beds.

“We’ve also created a community space up on the roof of the building. It has a community kitchen and an outdoor deck area with views of the Capitol,” Kigar said.

Aside from the potential economic boost Sonrisa may give to the many cafes and shops along the quiet street, CADA tenant Nikki Whitfield said this project will appeal to a diverse group of people in need.

“Students, people who are getting back on their feet, extended family, there’s a plethora of people who need that right now,” she said.

The construction manager for Sonrisa told FOX40 that he worked on another development about four years ago in downtown Sacramento. He added they were charging $1,800 a month for the same exact-sized apartment and that this project is going to be worth seeing once it’s completed.

When asked why more developers are not doing more projects like these in Sacramento, Kigar said it all has to do with getting the proper funding.

To see if you qualify for the waiting list at Sonrisa, click or tap here.

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