K Lofts

Breathing new life into San Diego's Golden Hill neighborhood, K Lofts introduced nine contemporary rental units to a brownfield site formerly occupied by an abandoned Circle K convenience store and a gas station.

Although local zoning limited the allowable density to six units on a 9,000 square foot lot, Segal received a building bonus and was able to bump the unit count to nine by designating one apartment as low-income.

Elements of the original convenience store building (seen here) were salvaged and integrated into the new design. Segal estimates this adaptive reuse saved nearly $80,000 in demolition and construction costs.

Segal retained parts of the original building shell and foundation, but removed the roof and added a second story. Five two-story units now stand on the footprint of the former retail structure.

The project was built for a modest $82 per square foot, with no government subsidies. Cost saving materials include rusted mild steel cladding (an economical alternative to Cor-Ten)...

...and cabinetry, hardware, and plumbing fittings from Ikea.

There's a sustainable component, too. Half of the project's electricity needs are derived from rooftop photovoltaic panels. Xeriscaping in an interior courtyard minimizes water usage.

The units even feel luxurious. Each enjoys private outdoor space and oversized windows.

Served up as an alternative to other housing options in the area, the loft residences appear upscale, but are deceivingly affordable.

Residential units range in size from 850 to 1,250 square feet. The low-income unit (reserved for individuals making 50 percent of the area median income) rents for $700 per month. The market-rate units go for $1,650 to $2,300 per month.

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