Seniors to be newest urban dwellers

REDWOOD CITY — Seniors will be among the first new residents to move into downtown, where city officials have given the green light to a new project that combines senior housing and childcare.

The City Council approved the $1.2 million purchase of 777 Bradford St., one of three parcels that will compose the new project site, Monday night.

The one-acre site also includes 707 Bradford St., which the city purchased in 2004 from the Family Service Agency of San Mateo County for $1.2 million, and two empty city-owned lots between Main Street and Jefferson Avenue.

When it’s finished, the project will offer between 50 and 76 housing units for seniors, plus a childcare center with room for up to 50 kids per day, according to a report from project manager Jeannie Young.

“We’re very excited,” Redevelopment Manager Susan Moeller said. “It’s hard to find sites downtown and get them assembled, and there’s such a desperate need for affordable housing.”

Funding for the city’s purchase of the sites and construction of the new project will come from a combination of Community Development Block Grants, Healthier Outcomes through Multidisciplinary Engagement and Redevelopment Agency funds, bond proceeds and housing set-aside funds.

The 777 Bradford St. piece was purchased from landowner Richard Gardella, who could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Family Service Agency of San Mateo County was glad to sell its property to the city for the project, President Laurie Wishard said.

“The city was our dream buyer,” Wishard said. “We were able to sell them something that was 100 percent consistent with our mission.”

Creating more childcare at a time when Redwood City businesses are expanding and bringing new workers downtown is especially important, according to Wishard.

Housing seniors near medical facilities such as Kaiser Permanente, close to transit and within walking distance of businesses is also ideal, Moeller said.

Redwood City redevelopment staff would likely release a request for proposals in the first quarter of 2007, and then spend another six to nine months negotiating with a developer, after which the project could take a year to two years to build, according to Moeller.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

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