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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | WEST COUNTY / VENTURA

Plan to Renovate Casa de Anza Studied

April 25, 1998|RICHARD WARCHOL

City leaders on Monday will consider an agreement with a private developer to renovate the Casa de Anza building on Ventura Avenue.

The agreement between the city and David and Donna Stewart, owners of Ventura Properties, would convert the aging building into 14 low- to moderate-income apartments and the new home of the Avenue Library branch.

Built to be the finest apartment building on the Avenue in Ventura's oil boom days of the late 1920s, the building in its later years became a community eyesore, a rat-infested haven for squatters, drug sales and prostitution.

The renovation, estimated to cost $1.2 million, would be financed with a yet-to-be-determined combination of federal low-income housing money, city bond revenue and private financing.

Using the De Anzas' ground floor as a library would increase the size of the Avenue branch by 70%, officials said.

Renovation plans also include new plumbing and electrical systems, a seismic upgrade, carports and a new elevator. Eleven of the apartments would be reserved for low-income tenants for the next 15 years. Three other apartments would be reserved for low- to moderate-income residents for the same period.

Construction is scheduled to be completed by Nov. 30.

The council is set to agree on final financing terms on May 31.

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