Pallet City in Chula Vista will provide temporary homes for more than 130 formerly unsheltered people
Community architecture is our jam, and that means architecture for everyone. We’re so pleased to work on a project that will provide individuals, couples and families – all of whom currently live without shelter – with temporary homes at Pallet City in Chula Vista, California.
At a recent groundbreaking ceremony, covered by CBS8, Chula Vista city officials, the building team and community members celebrated the start of construction for 66 pallet homes, also known as tiny homes, on city-owned land.
Located near Broadway and Main Street, the tiny-homes neighborhood, the first of its kind in San Diego County, will shelter more than 130 people and their pets starting this fall.
Residents at Pallet City will also have access to multi-purpose rooms, restrooms, showers and a laundry facility. On-site services will include job assistance, medical care and 24-hour security. Residents chosen for Pallet City are vetted through Chula Vista’s Homeless Outreach Team (HOT).
Originally envisioned as one large structure, Platt/Whitelaw Architects helped the city pivot during the pandemic to accommodate small, individual structures instead of one communal space. Working with prime contractor Kimley-Horn, Platt/Whitelaw managed site planning with support from electrical engineering consultant Turpin & Rattan and fire consultant Jensen Hughes.
This work included accessibility measures; layout of the units and property gates; hardware; signage; site lighting; electrical service upgrades; and fire suppression in each unit and common areas. Principal Naveen Waney led our team with assistance from Samantha Saltzman.
“We’re proud to be part of this creative effort to provide homes for San Diegans who have faced trials and tribulations that led them to live in a vehicle or on the street instead of in a home,” said Naveen. “By also coordinating on-site services, the City of Chula Vista is making an admirable effort to help some of its most vulnerable citizens to better their lives in a sustainable and dignified way.”
Samantha, who incorporated homeless shelter design into her study program when attending NewSchool of Architecture & Design, added, “It makes me all the more grateful to play a small role in seeing this project through. It’s nice to work on something that is adding resources and value to our community.”
Western Rim Constructors is performing the sitework, including the building pads and anchorages, while Pallet SPC is assembling the shelters for installation by Western Rim. Federal funding will cover the $3.5 million project, as well as the ongoing operations costs.