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Seniors Housing Funded

Thousand Oaks: A federal loan wraps up financing for the affordable complex.

September 12, 2002|GREGORY W. GRIGGS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

After seven years of planning, Thousand Oaks officials have finally completed the last step in financing a 57-unit affordable housing complex for seniors.

Oak Creek Senior Villas, where one-and two-bedroom units will rent for $450 and $540, was approved for a $1-million federal loan during Tuesday night's City Council meeting.

Prospective tenants for the complex at 367 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., next to a Toyota dealership, must be 62 or older and will be restricted to a household income of $43,080. As part of its agreement with the city, the developers agreed to keep rents at Oak Creek below market rates for 55 years.

The project carries an estimated cost of $11.46 million, with the city and its Redevelopment Agency contributing $3.6 million. The remainder will be acquired by the developer--a partnership of the nonprofit Area Housing Authority of the County of Ventura and Long Beach-based Urban Pacific Builders.

Deputy City Manager Scott Mitnick said Oak Creek Senior Villas "illustrates how difficult, complicated, complex and expensive affordable housing projects can be."

With the city having used nearly 96% of the land designated for residential development, finding parcels for such a project is difficult, Mitnick said.

"There are very few vacant residential parcels left in Thousand Oaks," he said. "This is one of them."

Along with the federal Housing and Urban Development loan approved this week, the city in July authorized a $1.1-million bridge loan to provide the developers with temporary financing. The Redevelopment Agency spent $1.2 million to buy the land, an expense that will be repaid.

Thousand Oaks has agreed to pay for $250,000 worth of flood-control improvements to Arroyo Conejo Channel, which runs along the north side of the nearly two-acre property. The city also agreed to spend $10,000 a year for five years to hire a consultant to monitor a mostly dry wetland portion of the parcel, a requirement imposed by the state Department of Fish and Game.

"This project has eight layers of financing," Mitnick told the council before it unanimously approved the loan for the complex. The 40-year loan carries a 3% interest rate.

Oak Creek will be a three-story building with 45 one-bedroom apartments, 12 two-bedroom units, a 2,000-square-foot community room along with 57 underground parking spaces and 18 guest parking spaces at ground level. Mitnick said Oak Creek received no waivers and will be built to the city's design standards.

The schedule calls for the apartments to be ready for occupancy by early 2005.

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