After a year of bad news and setbacks, the developer of the 50-unit low-income housing complex in Downtown Downey has won a $7.36 million tax credit and is now moving forward with the project.
National Community Renaissance won the credit through a competitive program and hopes to break ground by January, said Alfredo Izmajtovich, National CORE vice president of acquisitions.
The credit was the last financing piece needed to start work on the $20 million development.
“We have the funding now and we’re ready to go,” Izmajtovich said.
The city is working with National Community Renaissance on the project. Downey owns the land and has committed about $5 million toward the project, said Ed Velasco, the city’s housing manager. Almost all of the city’s contribution came through money set aside specifically for low-to-moderate-income housing.
The remainder of the cost will be financed by $2 million from the City of Industry, which gives away its housing money, along with private financing.
The View will have 35, two-bedroom apartments and 15 three-bedroom apartments, according to Izmajtovich. Building plans have been submitted to the city, and the complex is slated for completion by summer by 2014.
It’s been a tough year for the The View . It missed out on the same tax credit last year. Then in September, federal agents raided the offices of National CORE in an investigation sources say is centered on National CORE founder Jeff Burum. Downey’s leaders stood by National CORE, saying Burum had little or no involvement in the city’s deal. Burum hasn’t worked for National CORE for 11 years and he hasn’t been on the board since 2010.
In December The View was threatened by the outlawing of redevelopment agencies.
But because the contract with National CORE was in place before the redevelopment agencies were banned, The View survived a vetting process by the state and will remain under the control of Downey.
The site on Second Street was formerly home to a Verizon building, which was demolished last year.
The apartments will be rented at discount rates to families with low-to-moderate incomes.
National CORE will likely start forming a waiting list for the apartments after construction starts.
Shop owners in the area so far seem lukewarm toward the project. Some said they welcome a new development. But others said they worried about the lack of parking and the prospect of bringing in residents who, by definition, have very little disposable income.