1604 San Leandro Blvd – Affordable apartment complex near San Leandro BART approved

East Bay Times

January 17, 2018

SAN LEANDRO — The city has OK’d an estimated $33 million affordable apartment building near the San Leandro BART station.

The San Leandro Board of Zoning Adjustments, by a 4-0 vote Jan. 4, approved the proposal by Eden Housing of Hayward to construct a five-story building with 62 apartments, consisting of 22 studio, 22 one-bedroom and 18 two-bedroom units, at San Leandro Boulevard and Parrott Street.

Zoning board member Rick Solis was absent, and zoning board member Jeff Falero abstained.

“We thought this was such a great opportunity in terms of location, with it being right across the street from the BART station, and that’s not only great for our residents, since people with lower incomes are less likely to own cars and more likely to use (public) transit, but there’s a lot of interest on the state and local level to fund housing near transit areas,” Eden Housing senior project developer Susie Criscimagna said in a telephone interview.

The proposed apartment complex would be built on two parcels: a vacant lot and one with a fourplex, which is set to be razed. The building would include a 2,400-square-foot, second-floor courtyard; 990-square-foot community room; 250-square-foot computer room; 31 parking spaces in a ground-floor garage area; and a storage area for 21 bicycles.

The apartments would be reserved for residents earning 30 to 60 percent of the area median income, or close to $25,050 to $50,100 annually for a two‐person household, based on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development estimates. Eden Housing currently serves mid-Alameda County residents within that income bracket who have lower incomes, have disabilities, are seniors on fixed incomes or are veterans, Criscimagna said.

More state and local funds are also set aside for affordable housing projects specifically tailored for residents who earn 30 to 60 percent of the area median income, or $83,500 for a two-person household, she said.

Projected rents would range from $548 to $1,408.

Plans to build the affordable housing complex on the Parrott property, just two blocks away from the San Leandro BART station, came together over the past year,  Criscimagna said.

The project is set to receive $1 million in city funds set aside for affordable housing and $4 million from Measure A1, a $580 million bond measure for affordable housing initiatives approved by voters in November 2016, Criscimagna said.

Eden Housing also will work with San Leandro and AC Transit administrators to apply for about $7.6 million from the state’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, which funds transit-oriented developments, along with related infrastructure and programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Eden Housing also will apply for $3.1 million in state grants for development projects on vacant or underused properties in urban areas that have been built out.

About $15.5 million also may be covered by federal low-income housing tax credits, Criscimagna said.

“As you know, many of our neighbors here in San Leandro and the East Bay are struggling and facing homelessness,” East Bay Housing Organizations Executive Director Gloria Bruce wrote in a Dec. 29 letter to the Board of Zoning Adjustments.

“The housing stock is limited and growing too expensive for people on limited incomes to afford. Parrott Street Apartments will help to alleviate this serious issue by providing greatly needed housing in an excellent location near public transit, job centers, stores, restaurants and the wonderful civic services in downtown San Leandro,” she wrote.

Dennis Aicardi said his family has owned a home near the proposed project since 1936 and is “opposed to such a large structure being built where there are only single-family homes and small rental units.” The proposed apartment complex should be built on the other side of the BART tracks by the proposed market-rate apartment complex on the San Leandro Tech Campus, he said.

“Old San Leandro should be developed with its history in mind,” Aicardi wrote in a Dec. 23 email to the city.

“It is still a vibrant area close to transportation and shopping. Large buildings should be in the same locales and should not be placed where everyday people live and call home; you are destroying the owners’ home equity when you build such a building. Since they are not condos, they will not be maintained,” he said.