Work is expected to start next year on replacing the aging apartments at Pleasanton Gardens and Kottinger Place with a $62.8 million complex to be called Kottinger Gardens that will double the number of units available to Pleasanton's low-income seniors.
The City Council unanimously gave its final approval Tuesday to the redevelopment plan, with the city retaining ownership of the 6.4 acres now zoned for the project but with developer MidPen holding a long-term ground lease and the structures it will build.
The council's action also ends 10 years of discussions by task forces, committees and public hearings before the Pleasanton Housing and Planning commissions, as well as preliminary workshops and hearings by the council.
"It's a joy to see this come forward," Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio said. "A lot of people did amazing amounts of research to reach this final development plan."
MidPen is not yet ready to start building, said Steve Bocian, assistant city manager. MidPen still needs to obtain approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which currently owns Kottinger Place, to demolish that center. Then, before construction can actually start, MidPen will need to take its plans again back to the city Housing and Planning commissions for their approval and finally back to the City Council for a final OK on design plans.
But Bocian also said that the major hurdles have been crossed and that MidPen should be able to start construction late next year or no later than in early 2016.
Kottinger Place will be torn down first with MidPen and the city relocating current residents to temporary housing as close to where they're now living as possible. Some may move into relatives' homes and others to suitable nearby apartments.
"We will make sure that every tenant is relocated in an appropriate way," Bocian said. "Our goal is to relocate for as long as a year but not much beyond that."
Once the new facility is completed, they will have first choice of the 131 new apartment homes that will be in one-story cottages or in a two- or three-story building. The apartments will have far more kitchen, bathroom and closet space than these residents now have, with upgrades in electricity and plumbing, and perhaps most important for its elderly residents, air conditioning.
Once the new complex is completed on acreage between Kottinger Drive and Vineyard Avenue, demolition will begin at Pleasanton Gardens with 54 new units to be built. Tenants there, who range in age well into their 90s, will likely be moved to the new complex across the street on a temporary basis.
Bocian said rents for the new apartments will be based, as they are now, on about 50% of the household's annual income, ranging from $465 to $775 a month. Currently, the waiting time for housing at Pleasanton Gardens is about five years with the new complex expected to enable faster handling of those on the waiting list.
Noting the 10-plus years it's taken to develop and finalize the Kottinger Gardens plan, Councilwoman Karla Brown said as she voted for the project, "It's the Pleasanton way to take a little longer and do it right."
Mayor Jerry Thorne quipped, "If the time it takes makes a difference, this place ought to be a Taj Mahal!"