Officials broke ground for the new affordable apartment building across the street from the San Leandro BART Station.
By Jim Knowles San Leandro Times
The affordable housing apartment building planned across the street from San Leandro BART has been on the back burner for a few years, but it’s underway now.
Officials from BART, the City of San Leandro and local politicians were all on hand for the groundbreaking of the 115-unit apartment building that is now being on BART property called Marea Alta (Rising Tide). Later, the second phase will be built of 85 affordable senior apartments.
“We have a housing crisis right now and this will help,” said BART board member Rebecca Saltzman.
The $58 million project will take two years to complete. It will have 115 affordable apartments –studios, one, two, and three-bedroom units – and a child care center, run by the Davis Street Family Resource Center.
The apartments are for working people who will commute on BART so the childcare center fits the bill, officials said. The apartments will be for people making between $26,600 and $50,600 and the monthly rent will range from about $500 to $1,150, according to developer Bridge Housing.
The Bay Area is expected to grow by 2 million people over the next 25 years, said BART board member Robert Rayburn. He said he doesn’t want those people to have to drive out to Manteca, but to be able to live here in the Bay Area near a BART station.
“This is transformative, not just for San Leandro but for the entire Bay Area,” Rayburn said.
Several officials talked about the soaring rents in the Bay Area, because there aren’t enough apartments to meet the demand. There was no mention of the zoning laws that prohibit apartment buildings from being built in most neighborhoods.
But construction is underway at this building at 1400 San Leandro Blvd. The 4-story structure will sit atop of 240 underground parking spaces, enough for residents and some for BART parking.
“You’re going to see this building get off the ground quickly,” said Cynthia Parker, president of Bridge Housing Corp.
The Marea Alta development will provide good housing for people who have to commute a long way to work, Parker said.
“The day care center will make all the difference in the world for people trying to get ahead,” Parker said.
Most of the speakers mentioned the long wait it’s been to get the project started, after it was delayed by the last recession.
“For people coming out of college, this is affordable,” said San Leandro Mayor Pauline Cutter.
Cutter also recognized former City Manager John Jermanis in the audience who “helped get this vision started.”
“We’re proud of what San Leandro is doing,” Cutter said.
Financing is through Wells Fargo Bank, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and the City of San Leandro. The architect is Ankrom Moisan Architects and the contractor is Cannon Constructors North.
Prospective residents can call 464-5990 or for more information about Bridge, visit www.bridgehousing.com.