Anton Portola - 256-unit affordable apartment complex with resort-style pool, fitness center opens in Irvine

Anton Portola 256-unit affordable apartment complex with resort-style pool, fitness center opens in Irvine


IRVINE – A brand new 256-unit affordable apartment complex with a resort-style pool, fitness center and dog park has opened in the developing Portola Springs community.


The rent price at Anton Portola is $876 per month for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,050 for two-bedroom, compared to the average asking rent of about $1,800 for apartments in Orange County.


The units are available only to very low income households, which make less than 50 percent of the area’s median income adjusted for household size. For example, the income limit for a family of three is $43,900.


Still, Anton Portola has exterior and amenities that make it indistinguishable from market-rate apartments, said Andy Davidson, vice president of construction for Anton Development Co., which built and manages the property.


“We don’t want there to be stigma, and there shouldn’t be,” he said at the grand opening Thursday, March 23.


The affordable housing project was a requirement for the landowner Irvine Co. to develop Portola Springs.


Increasing housing costs has been a major issue throughout the state, but especially in Orange County, where few young families can afford to live. Anton Portola will remain as affordable housing for at least 99 years, according to the Irvine Co.


Located off Irvine Boulevard just north of the Orange County Great Park, Anton Portola is surrounded by market-rate apartments, homes under construction and rolling hills.


The complex features a clubhouse, a heated pool and jacuzzi, laundry room, grass park with a playground and the dog park.


One-bedroom units are 693-756 square feet, and two-bedroom units 983-1,035 square feet. They don’t have luxury amenities such as granite countertops or top-of-the-line appliances.


As of Thursday, 62 families have moved in. The first two of the 12 residential buildings are already occupied and the third building is half full, Davidson said. People will start moving into the fourth building next week.


Some of the buildings are under construction and are scheduled to be ready by July.


“We have to supply housing for everybody,” Irvine City Councilwoman Melissa Fox told the Register at the grand opening. “We don’t want to become an island of just rich people who can afford the cost of living that’s so high.”


“We need to provide housing for workers, housing for students,” she said, “and allow people who maybe aren’t getting an income anymore, our senior population, to have a comfortable terrific place to live within the city and not have to leave.”


Anton Development, based in Foster City, runs two other apartment communities in Orange County, Anton Monaco in Anaheim and Anton Legacy in Tustin. Anton Monaco is all affordable housing and Anton Legacy about 75 percent, Davidson said.


Steven Eggert, founder and president of Anton Development, said it makes sense financially to put affordable units into one big project rather than spreading them out. That makes it easier for Anton Development to get funding from a bank and allows the company to consolidate park space required by the city, he said.


Except for tax credit, the Anton Portola project received no government subsidy, Eggert said.


Growing up in Orange County in the 1960s and 70s, Eggert said he remembers driving through orange groves along Sand Canyon Avenue to get to his grandmother’s house in Laguna Beach. He used to ride his bike in what is now the Portola Springs area, which was a ranch land at the time, and saw jets take off from the El Toro Marine airbase.


“For me, growing up in Orange County, to be able to develop a project in Irvine Ranch is a high point in my career,” Eggert said.


How to live at Anton Portola


Initially, applications were accepted first-come first-serve. In the future, however, applications will be worked off a waiting list, though details are still being ironed out, according to Anton officials.


All adults over 18 must fill out an application that consists of questions about their student status, monthly income, assets and rental history. Once an application is filled out, the company runs a background check on each adult and verifies all the information.


To qualify for one-bedroom units, applicants must make at least $26,280 a year. For two-bedroom units, the minimum requirement is $31,500.


Then there’s the following maximum income limits for each household: $34,150 for one person, $39,000 for two, $43,900 for three, $48,750 for four, $52,650 for five, $56,550 for six, $60,450 for seven and $64,350 for eight.


For more information on Anton Portola, contact the main office at 949-232-1819.

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