News

Council OKs 62 new affordable apartments

Rental units expected to cost $39M to build

The Mountain View City Council happily threw its support behind plans to build 62 new affordable apartments in the Jackson Park neighborhood -- but they won't come cheap. At an estimated cost of $38.8 million, the project at 460 N. Shoreline Boulevard would be the most expensive affordable housing project, per-unit, ever undertaken in Mountain View.

Despite the price tag, council members at the Jan. 30 meeting swiftly approved the project in a unanimous vote.

The new housing would be an expansion of the existing 120-unit Shorebreeze Apartments. For about 30 years, Shorebreeze has been managed by MidPen Housing, one of Northern California's largest affordable housing nonprofits. Given the soaring costs of land and construction, it made sense to add density to already established properties, said Peter Villareal, MidPen's housing development director.

"We're trying to find an opportunity to leverage a great location at a low market cost," he said. "It's so hard to find affordable land in Mountain View, but we have to make sure we're finding ways to build affordable housing for families."

To that end, MidPen's proposal calls for demolishing 12 existing apartments and replacing them with 62 new units. All of the displaced tenants would have access to temporary housing, and the option to receive one of the new units when they're finished.

The most complex facet of the Shorebreeze expansion was its arcane financing plan. The $38.8 million project needed to draw from a variety of sources, including nearly $14 million in federal tax credits and about $14 million more in federal loans.

On top of that, the original housing package also requested to borrowing $6.3 million from the city of Mountain View. Ahead of the Tuesday meeting, MidPen officials informed the city they needed to increase that loan to $7.32 million to accommodate rising market costs. Exact details on how that loan would be repaid will be sorted out in negotiations led by the city manager's office.

Each apartment unit will cost about $626,000 to construct, making it the city's most expensive affordable housing built to date. Palo Alto Housing's 62-unit project that is currently under construction at 1701 W. El Camino Real is costing about $424,000 per unit, according to city reports. Meanwhile, a 116-unit ROEM project now being built at 779 E. Evelyn Ave ended up costing about $538,000 per apartment.

Once built, the new apartments are expected to be priced at about 50 percent of the going market rate, but some further subsidies will be available for extremely low-income families, according to MidPen officials. Of the 62 new units, 32 will go to households with Section 8 vouchers. The remaining units will go to eligible tenants based on the city's preference for those who already live or work in the city.

Going forward, the schedule for the project calls for finalizing the financing by late 2018 and beginning construction by the end of the year. In all goes well, the project should be finished and occupied by late 2019.

"It's always an exciting day when we get to vote to add more affordable housing in Mountain View," said Councilman Ken Rosenberg.

Comments

22 people like this
Posted by Old timet
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Feb 1, 2018 at 1:16 pm

How disappointing another ugly buliding.


27 people like this
Posted by Howard
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Feb 1, 2018 at 2:22 pm

Howard is a registered user.

An "exciting day" when council members get to spend tens of millions of dollars of OTHER PEOPLE'S MONEY.


58 people like this
Posted by Croc Dundee
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2018 at 2:41 pm

Creating affordable housing is a worthwhile goal. This is a stupid way to get it. 62 new units minus the loss of 12 units = almost $800,000 per unit for 50 units. Today, there are existing apartment buildings for sale in Mountain View selling for $350,000 to $550,000 per unit. Why are they spending more to build an "affordable" unit that won't be finished for at least a year than it costs to buy existing market rate units today? Alternately, you could give a rent subsidy of $2,000 per unit per month for more than 30 years and still spend less than this project.


7 people like this
Posted by Monolith
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Feb 1, 2018 at 3:26 pm

62 units?!!! Wow. That's impressive.


26 people like this
Posted by Mt. View Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Feb 1, 2018 at 3:58 pm

There is no hope for Mountain View. The City is in crisis because of the unfettered building, lack of environmental impact studies and planning, lack of infrastructure. a Peter Pan approach.

We have more crime than we’ve ever had and it will only get worse. We are becoming Los Angeles- a crappy place to live.


6 people like this
Posted by Paul
a resident of Shoreline West
on Feb 1, 2018 at 4:17 pm

@ Croc Dundee

"Today, there are existing apartment buildings for sale in Mountain View selling for $350,000 to $550,000 per unit."

Okay, we buy an existing apartment building. Now where do all the people currently living there go? Do we kick them out and put different people in there? The issue is we have a housing shortage and we must increase the housing stock in order to stabilize prices.

"Alternately, you could give a rent subsidy of $2,000 per unit per month for more than 30 years and still spend less than this project."

Still doesn't solve the housing shortage, and Shorebreeze is section 8 so the residents are already receiving housing subsidies. Constuction prices have gone up in the Bay Area because there's a shortage of construction labor (mostly due to housing shortage) and labor rates have increased dramatically (mostly due to housing shortage). So not doing anything is only going to further increase the cost to build new units.


38 people like this
Posted by swissik
a resident of another community
on Feb 1, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Do any of you commentators recall that last week it was projected that Mountain View, in ten years from now, will have the population density of Oakland? If you know Oakland you know what to expect. Shoreline is section 8 housing? Like someone else said above, spending other people's money is just too much to resist for the bureaucrats.


11 people like this
Posted by Tom
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 1, 2018 at 5:44 pm

Only a recession will "fix" this housing shortage...nothing else


23 people like this
Posted by bornandraisedmv
a resident of Jackson Park
on Feb 1, 2018 at 5:47 pm

The tech jobs need to spread out across the country. Period. Stop gentrifying what doesn't need gentrification. Google needs to get tfo out of Mountain View. Enough is enough.


11 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2018 at 7:27 pm

@bornandraisedmv

Tech companies build where engineers are. They're not going to build a campus out in the middle of nowhere and then try to advertise people to move out just because some locals think that there's too much tech here. I suggest that if you're adverse to being around a lot of tech companies, Silicon Valley may not be the place for you.


7 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2018 at 7:29 pm

@Tom

Yeah, only lots of people losing their jobs and having their lives destroyed will fix the housing shortage. That's the attitude to have.


19 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 1, 2018 at 8:07 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

I can see that YIMBY is still expressing his deep concern for our local environment, the effect that over-building and over-taxing resources will and already has had on our land, our environment, our lives.

At what point do we all stop, look around and DEMAND that this stop? That as a society we really really need to study development, look at it's actual effects on our resources and DEMAND that our beautiful city/Bay cannot take anymore and businesses need to move elsewhere?

I love how California prides itself on being "green"......and yet welcomes the big business with welcome arms until we are drought-stricken, fire-ridden and traffic over-dosed.

What a bunch of total and complete hypocrites.


7 people like this
Posted by YIMBY
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2018 at 8:47 pm

@mvresident

Uh huh. Tell me more about how concerned you are for the environment while you advocate for more low-density suburban sprawl.


11 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Feb 1, 2018 at 9:04 pm

@YIMBY

I'm as pro-housing as anyone gets, I want to see Mountain View build to the sky, if that's what it takes to make prices fall. However, the tech cycle here is very strong since we're now basically a single industry area.

I've been living here for twenty years and have seen several ups and downs. The cyclical downturn does drive prices down, since people leave the area and the crunch gets smaller. Other people can afford to move in, and the whole thing repeats. It's not something that we should wish for, but when it does happen, it will make things a little easier for those still looking to move into the area or stay here, particularly with rents. Actually, come to think of it, Measure V made it so that landlords will be reluctant to decrease rents lest they be locked in at the lower prices. Man, the housing politics around here stink.


10 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Feb 1, 2018 at 11:32 pm

How about the impact of having a high turnover renter population? Drive around MV on any given day, and you can find a mini-yard sale in every other apartment complex dumpster.


9 people like this
Posted by Palo Alto Housing in Palo Alto
a resident of Rex Manor
on Feb 2, 2018 at 8:22 am

"Palo Alto Housing's 62-unit project that is currently under construction at 1701 W. El Camino Real is costing about $424,000 per uni." So "Palo Alto Housing" is building affordable housing in Mountain View. Are they building any in Palo Alto, as their name would suggest? I think Mountain View has enough. Time for some other cities to catch up, mainly Palo Alto.


11 people like this
Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Feb 2, 2018 at 10:17 am

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment or offensive language]


18 people like this
Posted by Croc Dundee
a resident of another community
on Feb 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm

I was not clear earlier, I will try again.
If you are spending $800,000 to build a unit that others are selling for $500,000, then you are spending too much.


7 people like this
Posted by OPM
a resident of Gemello
on Feb 3, 2018 at 12:55 pm

OPM is a registered user.

Council is bad for spending Other People's Money.
Council is bad for spending Mountain View's Money.
What's a council to do?!

I think you simply don't like council/government. I recommend a new hobby. This one simply frustrates you.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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