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Costa Mesa, Newport Beach city officials celebrate completion of $11.5M-homeless shelter

Costa Mesa city officials in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for a homeless shelter on Airway Avenue.
Costa Mesa city officials celebrate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday for a new permanent homeless shelter on Airway Avenue.
(Courtesy of the city of Costa Mesa)

Costa Mesa city officials on Tuesday celebrated a civic accomplishment, cutting the ribbon on a new bridge shelter that will play a role in helping area homeless individuals transition to more stable housing options.

The 72-bed shelter at 3175 Airway Ave. was built inside a warehouse purchased by the city in March 2019 and retrofitted into a 12,285-square-foot space with an intake area, offices, fully equipped commercial kitchen and living quarters for men and women.

A 14,000-square-foot space remaining in the warehouse is a rentable tenant space.

Costa Mesa council members Arlis Reynolds, Andrea Marr, Mayor Katrina Foley, Jeff Harlan, Manny Chavez and Loren Gameros.
Costa Mesa City Council members Arlis Reynolds, Andrea Marr, outgoing Mayor Katrina Foley, Jeff Harlan, Manny Chavez and Loren Gameros in the living quarters of the city’s new homeless shelter.
(Courtesy of the city of Costa Mesa)

Outgoing Mayor Katrina Foley joined Mayor Pro Tem Andrea Marr and council members Loren Gameros, Arlis Reynolds and Jeff Harlan at Tuesday’s ceremony, which included a tour of the facility and was hosted by City Manager Lori Ann Farrell Harrison.

In an agreement with Costa Mesa, the city of Newport Beach provided a one-time payment of $1.4 million in capital costs along with $200,000 for furnishings and equipment for the site. City officials will pay $1 million annually for use of 20 set-aside beds at the shelter.

Newport Beach Mayor Brad Avery and City Manager Grace Leung attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony with a small contingent of city officials.

A new $11.5 million bridge shelter on Costa Mesa's Airway Avenue could begin taking clients in April.
A new $11.5-million bridge shelter on Costa Mesa’s Airway Avenue, which includes offices for city employees, could begin taking clients in April.
(Courtesy of the city of Costa Mesa)

“It was really something to see it all come together,” Avery said later that night at a Newport Beach City Council meeting, calling the project “the beginning of the beginning” of addressing the regional impact of homelessness. “I really felt like we have turned the corner on this with the opening of the Costa Mesa bridge shelter.”

The first live-in clients will begin to transition from Costa Mesa’s temporary shelter at Lighthouse Church of the Nazarene on the city’s westside in early April, while new clients could begin arriving sometime in May.

The newly built bridge shelter is anticipated to achieve full operational capacity sometime in July. The total cost of the building project, retrofitting and interior design is estimated at $11.5 million.

Staff writer Lilly Nguyen contributed to this report.

Costa Mesa’s first permanent bridge shelter on Airway Avenue.
Costa Mesa’s first permanent bridge shelter, at 3175 Airway Ave., is anticipated to begin taking clients in April, city officials report.
(File Photo)

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