City Manager's Updates

Monthly updates from El Cerrito City Manager Karen Pinkos.

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Oct 25

Community Development Update: Eden Senior Housing Mixed-Use Development

Posted on October 25, 2013 at 3:33 PM by Suzanne Iarla

Financing: The City of El Cerrito as Housing Successor Agency (City) has committed a total of $350,000 to the Eden Senior affordable housing development through a loan agreement. Since the execution of the loan, Eden has drawn $40,000 of the total loan amount for predevelopment activities. The loan agreement permits Eden to access an additional $60,000 prior to execution of a Disposition and Development Agreement (DDA) to pay for entitlement-related costs. In May 2013, the DOF approved the additional $60,000 of the Housing Loan as an enforceable obligation on the Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) 13-14A. The Successor Agency holds the Redevelopment Property Tax Trust Fund (RPTTF) proceeds distributed for ROPS 13-14A obligations and has indicated it has sufficient funds to fund the $60,000 obligation, subject to the terms of the loan. The undisbursed loan balance of $250,000 is claimed on the Successor Agency Recognized Obligation Payment Schedule (ROPS) and the Successor Agency is seeking approval from the State Department of Finance to collect those funds from the County’s Property Tax Trust Fund.

In addition to the City’s loan commitment of $350,000, Eden proposes to pursue a combination of County HOME/CDBG funds, County Housing Authority Project-based Section 8 funds and 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), which are allocated through competitive processes. Contra Costa County awards federal housing funds through an annual competitive process. Applications for the next funding cycle will be due in December 2013. Eden is seeking to have City project approvals in place by that time. If successful in obtaining County housing funds, the developer would anticipate submitting an application to the State Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC) for 9% LIHTC in the March 2013 round.

CEQA Environmental Review & Entitlements:
The City has prepared and circulated for public comment a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project. The Draft EIR was published in late August and is available on the Community Development Department’s website and at City Hall. The circulation and public comment period for the Draft EIR closed on October 10th. During that time, staff scheduled several opportunities for public review and comment, including a community meeting on historic features on September 11th; Planning Commission CEQA Scoping and Study Session on September 18th; and a Design Review Board Conceptual Review on October 2nd. As discussed in the Draft EIR and presented as public meetings, Eden Housing is proposing to pre-mitigate the impacts on the Mabuchi residence and Contra Costa Florist Shop through a combination of measures including retaining and rehabilitation the Contra Costa Florist Shop, documenting the historic resource through a historic building survey, incorporating Japanese-inspired landscaping and commissioning an interpretive display to commemorate the history of the site.

Staff and the environmental consultant are currently analyzing public comments and preparing the Final EIR and associated CEQA findings in preparation for Planning Commission consideration of CEQA findings and project approvals.

Disposition, Development Agreement (DDA):
Housing staff and the developer are in negotiations for terms of the potential development agreement and land transfer including the development financing plan, business terms with the Samuel Merritt Clinic, retail terms, and overall timeframe for development. Staff has engaged the services of Keyser Marston to assist in developer negotiations and the preparation of the Summary Report that is required to be prepared pursuant to Health and Safety Code Section 33433. Staff will update City Council as appropriate as real estate negotiations progress. Staff anticipates bringing the DDA to Council for consideration after completion of CEQA and project approvals.