MOUNTAIN VIEW (KPIX) – Dozens of tenants in Mountain View are at risk of being priced out of town and don’t know where to turn. A developer plans to tear down their complex on Rock Street and replace it with more expensive town homes.
That means come next year, the residents, most of whom have lived here for years and are paying well below market rate for their apartments, won’t be able to afford to live in their neighborhood.
A 2-bedroom apartment has been home to Jacquie Frederick and her husband for the past 5 years. Now, they’re getting out moving boxes since they received notice. They’ll likely need to move out.
“The news is quite scary to me, because we weren’t really sure and the whole feeling of feeling unsettled was quite frightening,” says Frederick. “We have to stay in the area because our parents are older and we’d like to stay close.”
Right now, they’re paying $2500 a month. The couple was able to find a rental in Newark, but they’ll be shelling out nearing a thousand dollars more for a slightly bigger place.
Her neighbors might not be so lucky. Developer Dividend Homes is buying the 59-unit complex. They’ve submitted a plan to raze the buildings and build 55 townhomes. They’ll likely sell for roughly $2 million each.
“My husband who is part of the family who owns the complex are on the side of the tenants. We understand their plight, we feel bad about it,” says property manager Crystal Ryan.
Ryan has been managing the property for the past 30 years. Her husband’s family decided to sell it.
“I think it’s a real problem, because traffic is horrible around here and we obviously need our nurses, and teachers and service workers,” she says.
What’s happening here is happening at other developments in the neighborhood.
“Who’s going to feed the Google engineers if we lose everybody who’s a cafeteria worker — who’s going to drive the bus?” asks Mountain View mayor Lenny Siegel.
Siegel is sympathetic to the disappearing working and middle class. The City Council is scheduled to vote on this project in December.
“I think there’s a chance if there’s some legal tools that we can use to prevent demolition then I’m hoping we’ll do it,” he says.
The mayor says everything the developer is proposing is zoning compliant, so it may be tough to vote the project down.
Meanwhile, most of the residents qualify for some relocation assistance which is about 3 months’ rent, but that probably won’t be enough to keep them in the city.