Mountain View City Council scraps downtown parking to build 120 affordable apartments | News

Otto I. Eovaldi

A long area parking ton upcoming door to Mountain Watch City Corridor will be replaced with apartments for minimal-profits people, soon after the Mountain View Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday to lease the city-owned home to an cost-effective housing developer.

The challenge, located together Bryant Street among California and Mercy streets, features 120 apartments in 5-tale structures experiencing downtown, tapering down to a few stories as it techniques solitary-story houses to the west. It also has ground-ground retail and local community house, created with the intent to draw in pedestrians, in sharp contrast to the “lifeless zones” designed by office structures in the downtown spot.

The 7- vote has been a prolonged time coming, with the town paying out the very last 6 yrs taking into consideration what to do with the 1.5-acre property regarded as “Whole lot 12.” In 2015, the city flagged inexpensive housing and accommodations as utilizes for two town-owned heaps, which have been always deemed short-term parking and meant for long term development.

The developer, Alta Housing, is proposing to build 120 apartments aimed at housing some of the lowest-cash flow people in the county, with 20 units established aside for those struggling with homelessness. A different 20 will be out there for all those building up to 30% of the area’s median profits (AMI), or $49,700 for a loved ones of four, even though 40 will be for people building involving 30% and 50% of the AMI. Most market-level housing tasks do not contain reasonably priced units at these profits stages.

But on the ground ground, the project has a diverse id. About 2,200 square ft will be devoted to retail place, and a different 8,000 will be devoted to local community utilizes ranging from nonprofit and metropolis meetings to maker space for start out-ups, courses and workshops. Councilwoman Alison Hicks mentioned the retail and group space is what is essential in the downtown area, and ought to be a template going forward.

“I’m happy that this has a lot more community interface, and which is one thing that I would like to make sure we do additional in the upcoming,” Hicks claimed. “I assume that is what downtowns are all about — not excluding the public.”

Housing advocates have also arrive out in complete aid of the challenge, with regional groups sending letters praising the use of general public land for badly essential reasonably priced housing. Kelsey Banes, regional director of the team YIMBY Action, informed council customers the job fills an unmet need to have for housing for incredibly low-revenue family members and individuals experiencing homelessness, and that it is a massive advancement over a long stretch of parking.

“This is an superb proposal that would substitute floor parking with households,” she claimed. “On the Peninsula I consider we have prioritized getting general public spaces to shop automobiles for also prolonged, and this is reversing the craze to really prioritize our general public land for housing.”

With the Tuesday vote, the task will mainly wind its way by way of the planning and advancement system without the need of yet another seem from the council. Alta Housing ideas to acquire approval from the metropolis via Senate Invoice 35, which will allow for streamlined acceptance of very affordable housing assignments.

Although the venture has a lot to like, it nevertheless had some sticking points that had council customers anxious. The project’s financial feasibility teeters on financial forces out of the city’s handle, and it could involve some upcoming monetary tweaks to remain feasible. On major of that, the town is getting rid of 160 parking areas at a time when parking is already thought of insufficient on areas of the downtown corridor.

For its section, Alta Housing is pitching in $10.1 million, described as upfront hard cash for leasing the house, in get to help the city finance a lot more parking somewhere else in the downtown space. Afterwards in the assembly, council users weighed developing a five-level parking garage that would substitute Whole lot 5, found together Hope Avenue concerning Dana and Villa streets, and maximize the amount of parking areas from 98 to 400.

The project will have its personal parking, with 90 household parking spaces and an further five spaces for the 1st-floor retail area.

The decline of Lot 12 parking would also spell difficulties for the Mountain See Farmers Industry, which makes use of the parking whole lot on Thursdays for part of the calendar year.

Financing the task has been an ongoing struggle, beset by larger development fees and problems obtaining subsidies to fork out for the apartments. Amongst early 2020 and now, Alta Housing said the expense of making the housing has spiked by an supplemental $16 million — prompting the developer and the town to go back to the drawing board and find a way to pay for the project.

“There has been a important funding challenge for very affordable housing assignments, not only in the location but statewide,” explained Wayne Chen, the city’s assistant neighborhood progress director. “There have been sizeable raises in progress charges, the economy has been impacted and external funding resources are fluctuating.”

In get to cobble with each other more than enough cash to pay back for the venture, which now exceeds $114 million, Alta Housing is tapping into a lot more funding from Santa Clara County’s Measure A bond and extra funding by federal housing vouchers. The challenge also leverages $8 million in state funding, which was appropriated by means of SB 129 with support from Point out Sen. Josh Becker (D-Menlo Park).

Most likely the most strange provision to continue to keep the job financially afloat is the use of a so-identified as “float-up” provision, a mechanism based on anticipated annual lease revenue, in which residences at first planned to be offered for family members creating up to 30% of the AMI would be transformed to units for people making up to 60% AMI. This offers Alta Housing a lot more rental income, and can be an crisis device for trying to keep the undertaking from starting to be infeasible. Carrying out so would be regarded temporary and a previous vacation resort.

Council users voted to allow for the task to slide by the preparing procedure, but flagged a want for plenty of landscaping, trees and general public artwork. They also agreed that the project’s style wants some get the job done to crack up any massing to continue to keep the constructing from on the lookout like a stark, vertical wall.

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