Moon Gate Plaza Breaks Ground in Chinatown

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News Date: 
July 24, 2018
Moon Gate Plaza groundbreaking ceremony

Groundbreaking Ceremony for Moon Gate Plaza - A National Model for Health and Housing to Revitalize Salinas’ Historic Chinatown Neighborhood

On Friday, June 29, 2018, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, Monterey County Supervisor Luis Alejo, Salinas Mayor Joe Gunter and City Councilwomen Gloria de la Rosa joined other City and Monterey County staff, leaders and residents to celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony of the Moon Gate Plaza project (formerly known as 21 Soledad Street). This project is an innovative, mixed-use, affordable housing community being developed by MidPen Housing and it is the result of a partnership between the MidPen and the City of Salinas. It represents a significant step towards realizing a longtime vision to revitalize Salinas’ historic Chinatown, a neighborhood rich in cultural heritage, while addressing the area’s growing homeless population.

The project is expected to open in the fall of 2019 and it will provide 90 brand new apartment homes for low- and extremely low- income households, including the formerly homeless. Free onsite supportive services, combined with affordable housing, will provide the foundation for the Moon Gate Plaza residents to improve their lives. Tenants will also enjoy community amenities such as a courtyard with community gardens, a community room with a kitchen, and a library and multi-purpose services room.

Through an innovative collaboration between MidPen Housing and the Central California Alliance for Health (the Alliance), Moon Gate Plaza will connect housing and health services for high utilizers of the healthcare system. The Alliance, the County’s Medi-Cal managed care provider, awarded a $2.5 million one-time capital grant to make 20 units available for this population. While the Alliance provided funding for building construction, the Monterey County Health Department’s Whole Person Care program has committed to provide operating funds to MidPen Services to provide robust onsite supportive services for these special needs individuals. These supports are designed to help them successfully maintain their housing and integrate into the broader community and include 3 full-time, onsite case managers. Supportive housing unit residents will be referred from multiple agencies. Through a coalition of local nonprofit organizations, the ground floor of Moon Gate is envisioned to be a vibrant community-serving commercial space that incorporates arts, health and wellness, culture, and educational programming to benefit all Chinatown neighborhood residents.

Financing for the $39.9M development was provided by the City of Salinas, the Housing Authority of the County of Monterey, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, the Central California Alliance for Health, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and Bank of America Merill Lynch. Dahlin Group Architectural Planning is the architect and the contractor is Ausonio, Inc. MidPen Property Management Corporation will provide onsite professional property management.