Dublin approves 113 affordable senior apartments near BART – The Mercury News

DUBLIN — An affordable senior apartment complex backed with more than $8 million in local and state funding is slated to go up in the city’s budding downtown, near the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.

The project, which will include 112 below-market-rate apartments and one manager’s unit, will be built and managed by nonprofit developer Eden Housing of Hayward on a 1.33-acre plot at 6541-6543 Regional St., where a one-story commercial building currently sits.

The project was approved by the Dublin City Council earlier this month, following the Planning Commission’s sign-off in late November.

Once built, the complex will help realize the city’s vision for a “vibrant and dynamic” downtown area that’s walkable and offers “a wide array of opportunities for shopping, services, dining, working, living and entertainment,” city reports said.

Overall, the Downtown Dublin Specific Plan, which was adopted about a decade ago, calls for up to 2,500 homes and apartments being built out in that southwestern portion of the city, roughly bounded by Amador Valley Boulevard, Village Parkway, Interstate 580 and San Ramon Road.

Eden’s plans call for the apartment complex to be five stories high, and the apartments will be a mix of studios and one-bedrooms, according to city reports.

Only people age 62 and older, and who earn anywhere from 20% to 60% of the area median income, will be eligible to apply for an apartment.

Tami Strauss, associate director of real estate development for Eden, estimated that the incomes of the people who will live in the complex will range from roughly $20,000 to $60,000 annually, and rents will range from about $500 to $1,300 per month.

The land for the project was turned over to the city from Bayview Development Group of San Jose to help satisfy the city’s affordable housing requirements tied to Bayview’s 499-unit, market-rate apartment complex nearby at 6700 Golden Gate Drive, which was approved in 2018.

Because the project is within a half-mile from a BART station, it qualifies for a State Density Bonus Law incentive that allows for a reduced number of parking spots. Eden said there will be 57 parking spaces in the building for residents — or about one space for every two apartments — which concerned a couple of planning commissioners.

Planning Commissioner Catheryn Grier said although BART is nearby, she thinks residents might need other kinds of transportation for some trips, such as to the doctor’s office.

“What sort of opportunities would people have?” Grier asked at the Nov. 23 meeting. “I’m not really sure how all that works out.”

Eden surveyed its other senior housing developments and “determined that was enough parking based on car ownership of our senior residents,” Strauss replied, noting the other transit options.

“There’s BART, there are bus routes along Dublin Boulevard, and we find many of our residents make use of public transportation,” she said.

“We find there is sufficient parking, sufficient public transportation around, and amenities in such close proximity to the property like grocery shopping and medical care, that it’s walkable, or you could call an Uber. It’s pretty accessible,” she said.

In 2020, Dublin received a $3.3 million Local Housing Trust Fund grant from the California Department of Housing and Community Development to help fund this project, a city report said.

Dublin also is kicking in the rest of its share of Alameda County Measure A1 tax dollars — a little more than $5 million — to support the Eden project.

Eden’s project would have outdoor common areas on the ground floor, including and lounge and event space, connected to an indoor community room with a kitchen. There are also plans for a synthetic turf sports area outdoors, a pet relief area and a garden area.

The building would also have four outdoor terraces on different levels, each with “a unique theme and plant palette,” city reports said, which some commissioners complimented. The terraces will include an orchid garden, a scent garden, a perennial garden and an edible garden.

“I really like this project,” Commissioner Dawn Benson said.

“I like the community aspect of it. I think it’s a very well-thought-out, well-orchestrated opportunity for folks to be able to get together, to be able to enjoy the various types of gardens, and take care of their pets. It’s all-inclusive,” Benson said.

Strauss said Eden expects to start construction in late 2023, and build for about 22 months, finishing the building around August 2025.