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Affordable housing for seniors being built in East Bay



Complex would have 60 units with 28 set aside for veterans

City of Alameda officials gathered Thursday, July 11, 2019 to mark the ground-breaking of a 60-unit affordable housing complex at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.
City of Alameda officials gathered Thursday, July 11, 2019 to mark the ground-breaking of a 60-unit affordable housing complex at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

By PETER HEGARTY | phegarty@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group

ALAMEDA — Decades since the U.S. Navy last built Nissen huts and barracks for the sailors that manned the ships that were once docked here, construction is about to start on the former military base’s first residential housing.

The $36 million project known as Alameda Point Senior Apartments, with 60 affordable apartments for people age 62 and older, could open as soon as next summer.

Twenty-eight apartments will be set aside for veterans who are transitioning out of homelessness.

“What could be more fitting than providing homes at the former Naval Air Station than for those who have served our country?” Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft told city and other officials Thursday when they gathered for the project’s groundbreaking.

The Navy closed the 1,560-acre base in April 1997. The site is now known as Alameda Point.

The apartments, planned for West Trident Avenue and Orion Street, are part of 68 acres getting redeveloped by Alameda Point Partners, a team of developers that includes the nonprofit Eden Housing of Hayward, which promotes affordable housing.

Eden is building the senior housing, which will have 48 one-bedroom apartments and 12 two-bedroom ones, including one for an on-site manager. There also will be a computer lab and an outdoor courtyard.

Eden also plans to build an additional 70 apartments at Alameda Point that will be designated for families. No date for a groundbreaking on those apartments has been announced.

“We are pleased to be moving forward with an affordable development in the center of this vibrant community,” said Linda Mandolini, Eden’s president. “We appreciate the community’s and city’s support, and value the strong partnership and assistance of Alameda Point Partners.”

Alameda Point Partners plan to build 672 market-rate townhouses, apartments and condominiums, plus 600,000 square feet of retail, commercial and civic space, on about 68 acres of the former base. The work is scheduled to be completed within about 15 years.

A ferry terminal for the neighborhood is expected to open next year in what is known as the Seaplane Lagoon near the USS Hornet Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan, who was on hand for the groundbreaking, said the Bay Area’s high rents and property prices highlight the need for projects such as the senior apartments.

“We clearly need more affordable housing,” Chan told those gathered, who sat under a tent as workers in construction helmets and safety vests walked nearby and trucks arrived, beeping as they backed into the site.

Funding for the project includes money from Alameda County’s Measure A1, a $580 million housing bond that voters approved in November 2016, and a state veterans housing and homelessness prevention program loan.

The project is expected to create at least 73 construction jobs and 19 ongoing jobs.

Target date for the senior apartments to open is July 2020. The apartments will be available to seniors with annual incomes from 20 to 60 percent of the Alameda County median income, which is currently $96,296, according to the website datausa.io. It works out to an income of between $19,000 and $58,000 annually.

“The Housing Authority of the city of Alameda is pleased to partner with Eden Housing to deliver this much-needed supportive housing and to expand the overall stock of affordable housing in Alameda,“ Vanessa Cooper, executive director of the Alameda Housing Authority, said in a release.

The groundbreaking comes on the heels of Alameda Point Partners announcing on July 2 that it has completed demolition of 30 acres of former Navy buildings and is now 50 percent complete with installing new infrastructure, including water, sewer, electrical and gas lines, for future redevelopment.

Alameda Point Partners is a joint venture of Trammell Crow Residential, a division of Crow Holdings of Dallas, developer Cypress Equity Investments of Los Angeles and commercial developer srmERNST Development Partners of Oakland.