The developers, St. Anton Partners, presented their plans for a multi-use building expected to begin construction by this summer. The property is 148 units of which 15 (or 10%) have been qualified for very low income housing. The intended use of the building is to provide workforce housing for those making a combined household income between $33,000 – $74,000. The targeted tenants consist of people working within the service industry in Downtown Fullerton, although traffic reports from BonTerra Consulting have indicated that the developers expect %10 of their tenants to be commuting via train to their work and back. These commuters are expected to inquire about vacancies during construction, while others will be targeted locally via direct mailing campaigns.
Since the property will be constructed next to a train track, a sound wall will be placed between the building and the track to prevent noise from trains. In addition, St. Anton Partners are working with acoustical engineers to provide better solutions to keeping noise down for the expected tenants.
St. Anton Partners placed the bid roughly $32,000 lower than their competitors when the city issued a Notice of Funds Available, and in turn received an RDA loan of $78,000 per unit ($11.5 million approximate total). Tenants of this property will be audited for financial and criminal activity at least once a year to see if they qualify under the guidelines set by the city for affordable housing, despite the fact that the majority of these units are at the highest level of the affordable housing scale.
In addition to housing units, 5,000 sq. ft. has been designated for retail space that will offer one to four shops to open within the property. According to representatives of St. Anton Partners they are open to many businesses who wish to set up shop, but those requesting to sell alcohol must acquire a conditional use permit (CUP), and they forbid adult shops from opening in the retail space.
The property has raised concern from neighbors at The Magoski Arts Colony as traffic has been an issue on Santa Fe Avenue. It’s operator, Michael Magoski, has stated that their goal is not to shut down the project, but to modify it so that both parties can operate without impedance. Magoski discussed how hectic parking may be especially during their exhibits for the monthly art walks in downtown. Developers with St. Anton Partners have explicitly expressed a willingness to work with the colony to provide a mutual benefit for both property owners. Currently Santa Fe Avenue is a one way street between Harbor Boulevard and Malden Avenue, and the street is the only access point for vehicles on the prospective property. By 2014 Santa Fe Avenue will be fully converted to a two way street, and the property developers anticipate improvements to increase visibility and traffic at the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Highland Avenue. St. Anton Partners believe that the 295 parking spaces they have allocated for guests, tenants, retail employees, and their customers will be an ample amount of parking.
Both parties will continue negotiations in upcoming weeks to find common ground on which they both feel confident operating as neighbors.