Sacramento’s newest affordable housing community honors late developer Ali Reza Youseffi

The ARY font on the building’s sign is scripted in the late developer Ali Reza Youseffi’s own handwriting, according to his family. (Photo by Chris Nichols for CapRadio News)

By Chris Nichols, Capital Public Radio

Sacramento leaders celebrated the completion of a 158-unit affordable housing community in the central city last week, a project that honors the prominent late developer Ali Reza Youseffi. 

The five-story complex at 17th and S streets is called ARY Place after Youseffi, who died of stomach cancer at age 35 in 2018. He built and championed projects that provided affordable, innovative housing for local creatives and lower-income residents. His family’s company, CFY Development, notably opened the Warehouse Artists Lofts on R Street in 2015.

Speaking at last week’s ribbon-cutting, Mayor Darrell Steinberg said Youseffi represented “a generation of young Sacramentans who saw and see this community for all of its potential, all that it can be.

“Not just an old government town, [a] proud center of public service, yes,” the mayor added. “But as a true cosmopolitan city. That has everything to offer for all of its people and prides itself on diversity and inclusivity.” 

Steinberg called ARY Place “a model” for future affordable housing. The project includes studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments, along with a community garden, rooftop terrace and other amenities.

By law, rents at the complex must remain below market rate. They range from $938 to $1,930. The units are reserved for households who earn between 50 percent and 80 percent of the area’s median income, which was $76,422 for households in Sacramento County in 2021.  

In an interview, Azzie Youseffi said her late husband considered it a privilege to develop housing for his community. She said ARY Place is the fourth fully affordable project he designed that’s been completed since his death. 

“As modest as he was and humble about the work he does, he really would have loved seeing how many lives he’s affected, how many families he’s been able to provide housing security to,” she said. 

Steel features depict Youseffi’s name in Persian writing throughout ARY Place. A plaque will hang on the wall honoring the young developer.

The five-story complex includes studios, along with 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartments, a community garden, rooftop terrace, fitness room, bike parking and garage. (Photo by Chris Nichols for CapRadio News)

The project is a partnership between CFY Development and Capitol Area Community Development Corporation, or CADA, a joint powers authority created by the city of Sacramento and state of California to redevelop the area around Capitol Park. It received funding from a variety of sources including CADA and the California Housing Financing Agency.

Officials said the apartments filled up quickly. All but one had been leased as of last week, they said. CADA maintains a listing of affordable apartments for rent here.

This story is part of the Solving Sacramento journalism collaborative. Solving Sacramento is supported by funding from the James Irvine Foundation and Solutions Journalism Network. Our partners include California Groundbreakers, Capital Public Radio, Outword, Russian America Media, Sacramento Business Journal, Sacramento News & Review, Sacramento Observer and Univision 19.

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