CALEXICO — Seniors can look forward to more affordable housing and services in the fall with the groundbreaking of the El Quintero Senior Apartments at De Anza II on Wednesday.
The De Anza II project provides 54 studio units and is designed to match the architectural style of the original Historical De Anza Hotel in a three-story, elevator-serviced building alongside the first building.
The development by Chelsea Investment Corp. is estimated to cost about $8.8 million and anticipated to be completed and occupied by October.
“There’s a big need, not only in Calexico, but in the Valley and the state for affordable housing in and of itself, but more importantly for seniors so this hits the target group that we were trying to reach out to,” Calexico City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said.
Calexico Mayor Daniel Romero thanked project representatives during the groundbreaking ceremony for their investment in the community, both for senior citizens as well as promoting use of solar technology.
The project will incorporate a solar system which will help it save on electricity and gas and in turn positively impact the project’s finances.
“It makes it much more sustainable and actually enables us to pay more of the city loan down, which is through HOME funds,” project manager Tim Baker of Chelsea Investment said. “It allows us to pay it quicker because of that.”
City Council approved the issuance of a bond by the California Municipal Finance Authority for the project in August. Chelsea has all liability and guarantees tied to this bond.
Rabobank made a firm commitment for the construction financing through the direct purchase of a tax-exempt bond allocation. Project funding will also come from a permanent HOME loan by the California Department of Housing and Community Development, partner equity by the Richman Group, and an application will be submitted for funding from the Affordable Housing Program.
The California Foundation for Stronger Communities, a California nonprofit public benefit corporation, acts as the board of directors for California Municipal Finance Authority. It will share 25 percent of the issuance fees it receives with Calexico’s general fund.
Baker surprised Romero, Rodriquez and Councilman John Moreno with a $50,000 check for senior community services in the city during the groundbreaking ceremony.
“It’s important to have services in the community for our residents, and luckily we were able to do that with the funding we obtained for the project,” Baker said.
Services such as a food bank, English as a second language classes and more will be provided through the nonprofit partner in the project Pacific Southwest Community Development Corp., which hopes to “create a community out of what is just a set of buildings,” Pacific Southwest President Robert Laing said.
Project coordinators have decided against a parking garage structure that was originally included in the plans but still plan for shades structures and accentuated walkways.
The project had been in the making for about six or seven years, Baker said, and he praised city staff for its work on the project.
“The staff was very supportive on working with us on a timely basis,” he explained. “They did their due diligence and said ‘let’s do it.’ … Overall it’s just been a very team-oriented experience. I think people are very excited about this and want to make sure it gets done.”
Chelsea Investment Corp. has provided about 250 senior housing units in Calexico and about 2,000 in the Imperial Valley.
Staff Writer Chelcey Adami can be reached at 760-337-3452 or email@example.com
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