WALNUT CREEK (CBS SF) — The Walnut Creek City Council last week approved a $6 million loan to a Berkeley-based affordable-housing developer toward a $68.2 million, 95-unit mixed housing and commercial project downtown.

The loan was approved for Resources for Community Development, which plans to build the four-story building at 699 Ygnacio Valley Road, at the southwest corner at the intersection of North Civic Drive.

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Remnants of an abandoned gas station now sit on that .86-acre parcel; the site has been environmentally cleaned up, and the state Water Resources Control Board has cleared the site for mixed residential commercial development, according to a city staff report.

RCD is in the process of buying the parcel from Hall Equities Group, a Walnut Creek-based real estate investment and development company. Plans are for construction to begin in late 2022, with completion in mid-2024, depending on some of the funding comes through, said Nick Cranmer, RCD’s acquisitions project manager.

The 94 living units — studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom variants — would be set aside for extremely low- and low-income households with incomes between 30 and 60 percent of the area median income. About a
quarter of those units, Cranmer said, would be set aside for formerly homeless families.

One unit would be for the building’s manager.

RCD had originally requested $10 million from Walnut Creek toward the $68.2 million project cost. The city, however, had just over $6 million available in a fund restricted to the development of new affordable housing.

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The parcel’s downtown location three blocks from the Walnut Creek BART station make the 699 Ygnacio Valley Road site well-suited for a commercial-affordable, bicycle-friendly housing project, Cranmer said.

RCD, he said, will pursue a state Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program grant to help fund it.

Walnut Creek city planners say the downtown location will help enable this project to meet several of the city’s housing, environmental sustainability and transportation planning goals.

RCD has built three other “affordable” projects in Walnut Creek, most recently St. Paul’s Commons, a 44-unit apartment building that houses the Trinity Center, a daytime non-residential program serving the homeless. It also built the 58-unit Riviera Apartments just north of the Walnut Creek BART station; those units also are for low-income renters.

“The City of Walnut Creek has been a good partner with us on affordable housing,” Cranmer said.

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