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Kottinger Gardens ceremony marks Phase 1 opening, Phase 2 groundbreaking

Affordable housing complex for seniors under development just outside downtown

Just in time to coincide with Affordable Housing Week, Kottinger Gardens -- an affordable senior housing community under development by the city and MidPen Housing Corp. -- hosted a grand-opening ribbon cutting ceremony for its Phase 1 housing project in concurrence with its Phase 2 groundbreaking celebration last week.

Approximately 100 community members attended the ceremony Wednesday to recognize the new housing project that has been under construction just outside downtown Pleasanton since March 2016. Once Phase 2 is complete, Kottinger Gardens will add 185 new low-income housing units for seniors.

“After years of envisioning, planning and collaborating, we’re excited to finally celebrate the opening of this community,” Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne said. “Kottinger Gardens expands much-needed affordable housing for our valued senior residents in a way that will be an asset to our city for years to come.”

The completion of Phase 1 has provided 131 new units of low-income housing for seniors -- aged 62 and older -- earning up to 60% of area median income, which is $43,860 for a single-person household, according to MidPen.

Construction has already begun on Phase 2, which will provide an additional 54 new homes in the form of one-bedroom cottages and a multi-story building, on the former site of Pleasanton Gardens. The $30.2 million project is expected to be open for residents by spring 2019.

Rent at Phase 1 ranges from $548 to $1,097 for a one-bedroom apartment and $658 to $1,317 for two-bedroom units. Phase 2 has a similar price range, with one-bedrooms coming in at $391 to $1,174 and two-bedroom $821 to $1,408. (Comparatively as of 2016 the median gross rent in Pleasanton comes in at $1,949, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.)

To say the homes are in high demand would be an understatement. To date Kottinger Gardens has received 984 applications from residents interested in the 185 units. The waiting list is much shorter than that, coming in around 300-400 parties that meet the requirements, but this high demand truly highlights the growing need for affordable senior housing in the Tri-Valley, according to Abby Goldware, associate director of housing development at MidPen.

“We all know that our golden state is turning gray,” Thorne said at the celebration. “By 2030 one out of every three Californians will be over the age of 50, and there will be 9 million over the age of 65.”

In light of the increasing need for senior housing, the addition of the new homes at Kottinger Gardens is a welcome sight for its residents.

“When I came to Kottinger Gardens, I took a look at my apartment and thought ‘I love it it's beautiful’, I felt like I was home it was everything I ever wanted and a place of my own,” resident Mary Davenport said.

The vision of Kottinger Gardens was formed by the Kottinger Place Redevelopment Task Force a group of participants assembled by the city with representatives from the City Council, the Parks and Recreation Commission, the Housing Commission, current residents, neighbors, Pleasanton Gardens Board of Directors and other community advocates. Many of whom were in attendance at the ceremony.

“All of my neighbors and fellow residents are very nice, it seems like everyone is happy,” Davenport said with a smile. “I know we need more communities like these.”

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