City of Ontario, National CORE to break ground on transformative affordable housing community as part of downtown-area revitalization

The City of Ontario and National Community Renaissance (National CORE) will break ground Oct. 12 on a 101-unit affordable apartment community that will help anchor the city’s plans for a modern urban village in and around its historic downtown core. 

The Vista Verde Apartments at East Nocta Street and North Virginia Avenue is part of a broad redevelopment of the downtown area funded in part from a $35 million grant the city received though California’s Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) program. The TCC grant is a critical element of a city-led initiative, “Ontario Connects: People, Places, Prosperity,” designed to encourage measurable and sustainable neighborhood transformation, create new economic opportunities and improve the health, well-being and quality of life for all residents. 

Vista Verde will feature high-quality, energy efficient apartments in a bike- and pedestrian-friendly setting that encourages healthier lifestyles and reduce pollution. The affordable units will be available to tenants earning between 30 percent and 60 percent of area median income. The project’s developer, National CORE, is one of the nation’s largest and most respected nonprofit community builders. 

“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to move forward with this critical piece of our downtown-area plan, and are grateful for our partnership with National CORE,” said Paul Leon, Mayor of Ontario. “High quality obtainable housing is a major determinant of a community’s health and prosperity. These 101 units will have a huge impact not just on the lives of the families who live there, but the city as a whole.” 

Steve PonTell, President and Chief Executive Officer of National CORE, praised Ontario’s thought leadership in developing the modern-urban-village plan and bringing stakeholders together.

“None of this would be possible without the collective commitment of the City and every stakeholder, funder and agency that has dedicated itself to turning this dream into reality. We’re proud to be part of this effort, and look forward to bringing the vision of Vista Verde to life,” PonTell said. 

In awarding Ontario the TCC grant earlier this year, the California Strategic Growth Council cited that collaboration and years of community engagement, noting it will have “a profound impact on environmental, economic and health outcomes for local residents.” In addition to affordable housing, Ontario Connects includes increased transit options, a small business incubator program, an aggressive tree planting and green waste program, weatherization and rooftop solar installation, and job training. 

“Combined with the major improvements that are coming with regards to transit opportunities along Holt boulevard, Vista Verde will encourage local pedestrian activity due to its proximity to transportation corridors, connecting residents to jobs,” said Mayor pro Tem Alan D. Wapner. “We truly believe that what we’re doing is a model for our downtown area and future development in Ontario by creating safe, healthier and sustainable neighborhoods.” 

“Housing that residents can afford and are proud to call home is so important to the future of our city, and will help redefine and re-energize our near-downtown area,” said Council Member Jim Bowman. 

“This project has been years in the making, and we’re thrilled to be able to break ground.” 

“The funding we were able to secure through the Strategic Growth Council will benefit our city for generations to come,” said Council Member Debra Dorst-Porada. “The range of elements that are included in this plan will improve the quality of life for our residents and create new economic opportunities for employees, businesses and the city.” 

“This is a great day for Ontario. I can’t thank enough all of the community members and stakeholders who came together to get us to this point,” said Council Member Ruben Valencia. “The apartments that will be built here will transform lives and the community as a whole.”