Nonprofit partners with Daly City on below-market-rate housing project 

click to enlarge MidPen Housing and Daly City are teaming up to build 52 homes at a former car dealership on the corner of Mission Street and Westlake Avenue. - RENDERING COURTESY DAHLIN GROUP ARCHITECTURE/PLANNING
  • rendering courtesy DAHLIN GROUP ARCHITECTURE/PLANNING
  • MidPen Housing and Daly City are teaming up to build 52 homes at a former car dealership on the corner of Mission Street and Westlake Avenue.

Daly City is partnering with a local nonprofit on a project to replace a vacant car lot with 52 units of below-market-rate housing.

The property at the corner of Mission Street and Westlake Avenue is the former site of a Volkswagen dealership, but it has sat unused with boarded-up windows for several years. In place of the old car dealer, nonprofit organization MidPen Housing has received approval from the Daly City City Council to build an apartment complex for residents earning 30 percent to 50 percent of the area's average median income.

The development will include 2,400 square feet of retail space and will also replace an adjacent office and warehouse, which Daly City owns and is donating to the project. By contributing the real estate, the city has become a financial partner in the development.

MidPen Housing spokeswoman Beth Fraker said the residential project is needed because San Mateo County is among the most expensive counties in the nation, and residents and workers are being priced out of the housing market.

"These are not just baristas we're talking about," Fraker said. "This is the person who takes care of your kids, the caregiver who looks after your elderly mother, the firefighters and the teachers."

Mayor David Canepa described the former auto showroom as blight, noting that it's been a magnet for graffiti and has even been inhabited by squatters. He said he's impressed with the quality of workmanship on other MidPen Housing developments, and sees the approved project as being consistent with the Grand Boulevard Initiative, which seeks to revitalize the Mission Street-El Camino Real corridor from Daly City to Santa Clara County.

"There are parts of Mission Street that are tired and rundown, and projects like this symbolize a potential renaissance in the area," he said.

According to MidPen Housing President Matthew Franklin, tenants with combined incomes of $25,000 to $55,000, depending on family size, will occupy the one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Referencing a 60-unit San Mateo project that MidPen completed last year, which had over 2,300 applicants, Franklin said he expects "overwhelming" demand for the nonprofit's new venture.

MidPen Housing is next seeking to apply for a federal low-income housing tax credit for the project. Franklin said he expects construction to begin next year, with the units being available for rent by summer 2016. The site is ideal, he noted, because it's close to public transportation and has many stores and restaurants within walking distance.

Prospective tenants' incomes will have to be verified to make sure they meet eligibility requirements, and preference may be given to those already living or working in Daly City.

To apply for housing with MidPen, visit www.midpen-housing.org or call (650) 356-2900.

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