Assemblymember Marc Berman has secured $8 million from the state for 965 Weeks Street, a multi-structure affordable housing development in East Palo Alto, San Mateo County. The project would create 136 units on undeveloped city-owned land. MidPen Housing and EPACANDO are joint developers.
Speaking about the specific nature of 965 Weeks, Assemblymember Berman shares that “this project models how three levels of government, nonprofits, and the community can successfully work together to help address our housing and homelessness crisis. Not only will the project include 136 affordable homes for low-income families, with eight of those serving homeless households, but it is a key catalyst for important joint transportation projects with Caltrain and SamTrans.”
The project will rise between three to four floors with a maximum height of around 44 feet tall with 211,0990 square feet. There will be 136 apartments spread across the four buildings, the larger of which will wrap around a five-story 213-car garage. Additional parking will be included for 77 bicycles. Unit sizes will vary with nine studios, 18 one-bedrooms, 75 two-bedrooms, 27 three-bedrooms, and one four-bedroom unit.
Units will be affordable for an average of 45% of the Area Median Income. The project will feature several on-site amenities for the residents, including an afterschool educational program room, fitness center, laundry room, and office space for the MidPen Residents Family Services Program for working-age adults and youth residents.
David Baker Architects is responsible for the design. Illustrations show a smart contemporary design with protected corridors extending from the multi-level garage to each of the four structures. Facade materials will include white fiber cement panels, plaster, random-batten panels, low fire clay tiles, and powder-coated sunshades.
PLURAL is the landscape architect. Much of the 2.52-acre site will be improved with green space as an integral character at a ground-level open to future tenants and the wider community. The property will include a courtyard, residential mews around the three smaller buildings, and new trees along the Weeks Street sidewalk. Lawns will be planted for the building’s frontage along the Rail Spur path.
The property is located by Bay Road, close to Ravenswood Open Space Preserve and the Dumbarton Bridge. East Palo Alto’s most regionally recognized store, IKEA, is just under a mile away.
MidPen Housing is working with the local non-profit EPACANDO, i.e.m East Palo Alto Community Alliance and Neighborhood Development Organization. Its mission is to “ create affordable housing and to promote community and economic development” in the bayside city. DCI Engineers is responsible for structural engineering, Emerald City Engineers is consulting on MEP, and L + D Construction will be the general contractor.
The city initially approved the project in August of 2019. On top of the $8 million guaranteed this month, $23 million has been secured from County, City, and other local funds. According to the MidPen press release, “while the state’s recent Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities award of $19.8 million got the project closer to starting construction, there remained a final financing hurdle to cross before the project and the planned housing and transportation improvements could be built. The $8 million in state funding helps to fill that gap.”
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