For the low-income seniors living in Kottinger Place and Pleasanton Gardens, there's better housing in the offing.
After more than 10 years of debate and hundreds of hours of public hearings, study groups and task force meetings, the Pleasanton Planning Commission last week gave its unanimous approval to a $62.8-million plan to tear down both apartment complexes in phases and to replace them with new structures that will double the size with 185 units upgraded to today's building standards.
Under the agreement, MidPen Housing Corporation and city staff are working together to obtain the necessary financing, drawing $10 million from the city's affordable housing funds, grants and federal funding. MidPen expects to receive approval next month from the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Agency, which currently owns Kottinger Place, to demolish that center.
It received approval from the Pleasanton Housing Commission Feb. 20 for its rebuilding plans, which will also need final approval from the City Council once the project is ready to proceed. That's expected within the next couple of months with formal action on an ordinance that will allow the project to proceed next year.
The redevelopment plan has been under study since 2004 when the Kottinger Place Redevelopment Task Force was established. For 10 years, the task force held numerous public, neighborhood and resident meetings before reaching a consensus to rebuild and expand both Kottinger Place and Pleasanton Gardens.
The developer, MidPen, is a Foster City-based developer that is the owner and manager of more than 90 properties with 25% of them senior communities. Here, Mid-Pen will own, finance and manage the newly-named Kottinger Gardens development, while the city of Pleasanton will retain ownership of the land the buildings will occupy.
The MidPen project calls for building 131 apartment homes on the site now occupied by Kottinger Place, and 54 where Pleasanton Gardens is now located, replacing the two aging, subsidized affordable housing developments with single, two, and three-story apartments for seniors to continue living independently. Tenants, who range in age well into their 90s, will be able to stay in place during the reconstruction or move to temporary housing nearby at the developer's cost.
The new Kottinger Gardens will help meet an ongoing and rising need for subsidized housing for Pleasanton's low-income seniors. There are so many applications that managers at both sites now only accept new requests every several years, typically for a single day.
The apartments will have far more kitchen, bathroom and closet space than the units now have and will feature upgrades in electricity and plumbing, and perhaps most important for its elderly residents, air conditioning. Also, with a single management team, social services and other senior-focused amenities should be better and more efficient.