Officials gathered Tuesday morning at 707 Bradford St. in downtown Redwood City to celebrate the groundbreaking of an affordable apartment building for seniors that also includes a child care facility.
Designed by nonprofit developer MidPen Housing on city-owned land, the project known as Arroyo Green includes 117 very-low-income units — 26 of which will be reserved for formerly homeless veterans and seniors with special needs. It also has a creekside trail open to the public and the child care component spans 8,000 square feet. Residents are expected to move into the seven-story building by spring 2021.
The units include a mix of studios, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units to be rented between $700 and $1,500 a month.
“What the city and county know is the tremendous need for this type of housing and [seniors] are our biggest growing demographic statewide and here in the county,” said MidPen’s president and CEO Matt Franklin, adding that one of five seniors in California currently lives in poverty.
“The site is unrivaled as far as its access to health care, to important neighborhood amenities and to transportation,” he continued. “When you take a valuable piece of land like this right in the middle of the downtown precise plan, right in the middle of all the great things happening here in downtown and you put out a call to create high-quality homes for low-income seniors and child care spots for the neighborhood, it’s a the best expression of your values as a city and it speaks volumes.”
Mayor Ian Bain said the development has been in the works for 15 years.
“It took vision, it took leadership, it took perseverance, creativity and a lot of people — it took a village to get us to where we are today,” he said. “Redwood City has a long tradition of using public land to build affordable housing and MidPen has an excellent tradition of building high-quality affordable units, particularly for our seniors, which are much needed. … This is a long-held dream of the City Council and Arroyo Green is going to be the fulfillment of that dream.”
Arroyo Green’s on-site amenities include an open-air rooftop courtyard with community gardening planters, barbecue and seating, and indoors there will be a community room, computer lab, game room, library and fitness room.
Run by nonprofit Footsteps, the ground-level child care space can accommodate 70 children and includes an outdoor playground.
“I love the fact that we’re going to have seniors in this program and little children because together they’re going to make a magical situation,” said Footsteps Executive Director Karen Haas-Foletta. “We’re gong to try to see what seniors — we won’t force them — are interested in helping out working with children in a meaningful way and they’re going to come down to our program and hopefully we’re going to go up to their programs and make it one big community.”
Seven funding sources, including Redwood City, San Mateo County and Union Bank, made the development a reality.
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