April 19, 2018

Affordable senior housing project to open in Livermore by summer 2019

MidPen Housing

The Chestnut Square senior housing project began construction this week in Livermore. When it opens next summer, it will have 73 units of affordable housing for qualified seniors.
By ANGELA RUGGIERO | aruggiero@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: April 19, 2018 at 5:51 pm | UPDATED: April 20, 2018 at 2:39 pm
LIVERMORE — Wednesday marked the official construction start of a new affordable senior housing project in Livermore that’s expected to open in the summer of 2019.

Dubbed “Chestnut Square Senior Housing,” the project will feature 72 rental apartments and studios for low-income senior citizens. Five of those homes will be set aside for formerly homeless people, according to MidPen Housing, which is developing the project.

The city of Livermore has contributed $5 million toward the $37.3 million senior development.

A groundbreaking ceremony took place Wednesday morning at the property on 1651 Chestnut St.

“It troubles me when I hear people say they don’t want affordable housing in their community. … I know teachers and artists who have left Livermore because they could no longer afford to live here,” said Livermore Mayor John Marchand. “These are the people who are providing the intellectual capital for the next generation.”

Two other phases will follow. In the second phase, to be developed by Warmington Residential, 44 market-rate townhouses will be constructed. The city plans to sell a portion of the parcel to the developer and apply the sales proceeds toward the third phase of the project, said Polo Munoz, MidPen’s senior project manager.

The third phase, to be resumed by MidPen, calls for 42 rental “workforce homes” for families. Those families and seniors from the first phase will share a community courtyard and barbecue area.

MidPen was chosen as the developer for phases one and three in 2010 after the city solicited proposals. But when the state’s redevelopment agencies were dissolved in 2011, financing became a challenge, Munoz said.

Things began looking better in 2015 when the city managed to commit $5 million of seed money to get the senior housing project started, he said. Then last year, MidPen received and used low-income housing tax credits to help finance the rest of that development.

Of those 72 units in the senior housing phase, 69 will be one-bedroom units, two will be studio apartments for people older than 62 who earn no more than 60 percent of the area median income — which is $43,860 for a single-person household, according to MidPen. The last apartment will be a manager’s unit.

Included in the Chestnut Square project will be a community room with a common kitchen, a computer lab, balance studies, rooftop patio, and arts and crafts room, as well as bike storage.

MidPen’s Services Corporation will manage programs for seniors, including computer workshops, financial capabilities courses, onsite health screenings, group exercise classes and other social programs and events. The five formerly homeless tenants will also receive extra support services.

BAR Architects is the project architect and J.H. Fitzmaurice, Inc. is the contractor.

For those wanting to add their name to the interest list, call MidPen at (650) 356-2900.