LYNWOOD — The City Council here voted unanimously Nov. 24 to consider an unsolicited proposal from Pacific Development for the construction of an 81-unit affordable senior citizen housing complex on a site that has been vacant for more than 15 years.
The City of Lynwood received a formal letter from Pacific Development, based in Manhattan Beach, expressing an interest in a vacant lot that includes 10 parcels that make up 38,350 square feet on the west side of Atlantic Avenue between Agnes and Lavinia avenues. T
he subject land is currently zoned for open space development and located across the street from Yvonne Burke/Ham Park, which runs parallel on the east side of Atlantic Avenue.
“I’m excited about this item being on the agenda,” Mayor Jose Solache. “I’m happy that we’re exploring this development because we don’t have enough senior housing in our community.
“Through my day job at the nonprofit Old Timers Foundation, I’ve learned that we need to take care of our seniors, like they took care of us during their younger years.”
Councilwoman Aide Castro agreed with Solache and added that she loves the idea of a second senior citizen housing facility in the city. However, she said, she would like to explore how such a facility would be able to accommodate senior citizens who may be homeless or who are veterans and in need of homes.
“I’m excited that we’re focusing on bringing more senior housing into our community,” Castro said. “There’s a great need for senior housing in our communities, and as elected officials, we have the responsibility to our elders to make sure that they too have the opportunity to live their golden years in quality housing that is affordable.”
Castro said that she was happy to learn the project would for the first time allow a developer in the city to apply for tax credits under the state’s low-income housing tax credit allocation program, which would subsidize the cost of construction. Not only would the tax credits benefit the city, but it would allow the rents in the complex to be reduced to below market-rate levels and, therefore, be affordable to low-income seniors.
The council’s unanimous vote gave staff direction to engage in discussions with Pacific Development to bring to council a draft agreement that sets forth the negotiated terms and conditions for the site’s development.
In their interest letter, Pacific Development stated that it has been developing and managing affordable senior housing apartments for nearly 20 years. Pacific Development’s proposal would consist of a three-story apartment building built over a parking garage on the ground level.
“This has been one of my priorities for months,” Solache said. “It has been my personal vision to increase affordable housing for our seniors. The city of Lynwood is built out, meaning there is not a lot of open space for development, so it is important that we be strategic about the open spaces that we do have.
“When you have a developer of this caliber wanting to build in your community, it’s not something you can say no too. We are happy to start these discussions with Pacific Development to explore how a project like this could be built in our community for our senior citizens.”