Vacaville city council rejects loan agreement for multi-family apartments – The Vacaville Reporter
Vacaville city council voted unanimously on Tuesday to reject a resolution that would have approved an assignment, development and loan agreement for a 187-unit multi-family apartment complex project on Allison Drive.
Council members recommended that the developer bring back the item after discussing the possibilities of hiring local contractors and workers for the construction, incorporating senior units and considering a current salary structure.
In 2019, council voted to approve a zoning change and amendment to the Allison Business Park Strategic Plan, which was passed in 1980 to further develop the area along Allison and Ulatis alleys. The 2019 action included the application of a residential overlay zone to two city-owned parcels to allow for commercial and residential uses. The city plans to develop these plots next to the transit center of Vacaville into apartments at below-market rates to accommodate several families.
A year later, council approved an agreement with Sacramento-based real estate developer CFY Development, Inc. to allow staff to negotiate with the developer to build 187 apartments for mixed-income residents on part of the property while allowing the city to develop the rest of the plots for commercial or retail use in the future.
Housing Services Manager Emily Cantu said CFY was chosen based on the combined 50 years of staff experience and 64 completed development projects, including Kimmie’s Place Apartments on Callen Street, which have were completed in 2015.
“They have a solid history and reputation with good property management and maintenance of their properties and also meet financial obligations, both through other suppliers and the State as seller as well as the town of Vacaville, ”she said.
Also in 2020, Cantu said staff brought an item to the board that the Solano Transportation Authority is supporting rental housing at below-market rates, especially given its location next to the transit hub. In support, STA has agreed to provide a grant of $ 1.9 million for the project.
Under the proposed agreement, the City would sell the land for its fair market value, based on a third party appraisal. The city would contribute $ 1.9 million through its loan.
Other provisions of the proposed agreement included setting rental values between $ 1,267 and $ 1,621 depending on the size of the bedroom, and rents would be capped at 80% or less of the region’s median income. That would work out to $ 73,950 per year for a family of four or $ 35 per hour if one member of the household is employed full time.
Resident Alicia Minyen asked why the project had grown from 99 to 187 units and whether there was a need to hire local workers for the project.
Cantu said the decision to double the units was the result of negotiations with CFY.
“It fills a community need and will serve our community with housing units at below market prices,” she said.
Cantu also said the going salary was not required at the time based on the city’s loan structure, but may be required in the future if mandated by another funding source. Additionally, she said CFY was doing what it could to hire unionized workers to support jobs at Vacaville.
City Councilor Michael Silva asked why the project had not been put out to tender. Cantu said the bidding process was unnecessary. So staff searched for and contacted a developer the city had previously worked with.
“They have experience doing these dense projects close to public transport,” she said. “Based on their experience, reputation and capacity for development, we have worked directly with them to bring this agreement to you for your consideration. “
Silva asked CFY President John Cicerone if his company had ever hired local workers. Cicerone said the apartments at Kimmie’s Place were built by more than 50% of local workers.
Vice Mayor Nolan Sullivan asked if staff could request that 65% of workers be local hires.
“I know it’s really hard to find developers to build these projects and I know we need housing, but it looks like it’s a good partnership and I wonder if we could get something out of it for the workers. de Vacaville, “he said. .
Sullivan also asked if the going wage would increase the percentage of employment. Cicerone said the total cost of the project was $ 45 million, and the current salary was estimated at an additional $ 10 million, which he said would likely kill the deal.
“I couldn’t be a developer and bring you a project at the going salary,” he said. “I tried and couldn’t find the necessary funding sources to overcome the rising costs.
Regarding hiring local workers, Cicerone said the project will be advertised locally and CFY will do everything possible to hire locally although they may not make it a requirement.
Mayor Ron Rowlett has said he would like this to be a mostly senior project.
“It is a prime location, next to a public transport station,” he said. “(It’s) within perfect walking distance to everything: shops, groceries, food, restaurants and of course the transit center right next door. I would love to see as many units as possible there.
City Councilor Roy Stockton said he was concerned other developers were not given an opportunity to bid on the project.
“We shouldn’t just choose who we go with on a whim or just because of a past relationship,” he said. “I just think that’s one way we could really open up to some issues in the future.”
Stockton offered to reject the resolution until council can receive more clarification on the concerns that have been raised. The motion was approved 6-0. Cantu said staff would work with CFY to agree on local hiring, top units and going wages.