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June 13, 2023

Orchard at Hilltop Receives Top Honors for Exemplary Design

San Diego, CA

The Orchard at Hilltop – a 113-unit multi-family development serving low-income families was awarded a prestigious Gold Nugget at the 60th Annual Pacific Coast Builders Conference. This year’s sold out PCBC design awards event was held in Anaheim on May 24th. Selected by a panel of top industry experts from nearly 650 entries, Gold Nugget winners showcase the best in residential design, planning and building. It also received a SDHF Ruby Award for Project of the Year, New Construction.The project was designed by San Diego based Studio E Architects and developed by Affirmed Housing.

Lead architect John Sheehan said of the design – “It’s all about the creek. Our team’s concept centered on the restoration and enjoyment of the Chollas Creek. The buildings are organized around it and responsive to a set of open spaces and view corridors beginning at the arroyo. The project reintroduces this forgotten and damaged water course to the neighborhood.”

The Orchard at Hilltop was the result of a unique and fruitful collaboration between engaged local stakeholders, an enlightened affordable housing developer, and opened minded City staff and a willing and able design team. The intelligent design capitalizes on the natural assets of its site – the brow of a hill situated between a busy neighborhood boulevard and a classic San Diego arroyo.

Affirmed Housing President, Jimmy Silverwood commented that “By working together, our partnership has delivered an exceptional development that addresses housing needs for individuals and families at all income levels, provides vibrant commerce and restores a natural resource. There were a lot of unique challenges to overcome on such a complex project. This award demonstrates what’s possible when talented design stakeholders unite to produce beautiful homes and communities that breathe new life into neighborhoods.”

The project includes a mix of 1, 2,3 and 4 bedroom units aimed at serving the needs of families as well as meeting rooms, a learning center, commercial tenant space and property management offices. Amenities abound. In addition to walking paths, a barbeque patio, tot lot and picnic lawn, residents will enjoy a swimming pool and sun deck. Local artist Maxx Moses was engaged to create a set of colorful murals to add personality to the development.

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