The mostly vacant lot on the corner of Seventh and J streets in Arcata may soon be home to a four-story apartment building for low-income residents.
Local real estate developer Danco Communities has partnered with the City of Arcata on what they are calling the Isackson’s Affordable Housing Project — a proposed 44 unit housing development which would include a mix of one, two and three bedroom units.
The Arcata City Council will be discussing the project tonight and considering providing a $1.8 million loan to aid the project’s completion.
This is not the first time Arcata has partnered with Danco on a project like this. Arcata Community Development Director David Loya told the Outpost that Arcata has made similar agreements to fund housing projects in the past including the Creamery Row Townhomes, the Courtyard Apartments and the Plaza Point senior housing project.
“The city has a long history of supporting affordable housing with the local development community,” Loya said.
According to the staff report, this project would provide housing to “very-low income” families, with the rent limits to be set by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) annually. Eligible occupants would earn 50 percent the average area income or less. “This would mean that a family of three earning $27,000 annually could live in the Downtown, for example,” the report states.
Residents would also receive some other great benefits, including bus passes for three years, access to a car-share program and a bike share program. The development plans also include a community garden, playground, community center and a skate park.
The project plan also involves improvements to the surrounding area, including sidewalk repairs and replacements, improvements to bike lanes, installing more street lighting and the addition of high-visibility pedestrian crosswalks. Plans even include funding the purchase of an electric bus and the addition of a new bus line — the Green Line — in Arcata.
Also, the building would be equipped with solar panels and powered by 100 percent renewable energy, all electric and no gas.
Basically, this project has all the features of an Arcata dream come true. But, it certainly will be a big undertaking and not without its hassles. Development would require helping relocate several residents of the homes on the northwest side of the property and the demolition of those buildings. The buildings on the south side of the property which hold some residents and businesses would remain.
Of course, the beloved Roman’s Kitchen food truck would need to find a new place to park too.
The council will review the project tonight and will vote on providing the $1,800,000 loan at a special meeting on June 27. In addition the city loan, the project would primarily be funded by a Low-Income Tax Credit allocation and an Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities grant.
Loya told the Outpost that if the project is able to secure all of this funding, that construction could start as early as next spring.
The Arcata City Council meets tonight at 6 p.m at Arcata City Hall — 736 F Street.
You can view the full agenda here.