Plans for the 2.6-acre complex call for solar-powered townhomes between 1,464 and 2,084 square feet. Drawings also show a shared swimming pool and clubhouse.
The three-story development is slated for the northwest corner of the intersection on property surrounding the Chris & Pitts BBQ restaurant.
The developer, Santa Ana-based City Ventures, focuses on eco-friendly, efficient, affordable homes.
“We exceed (U.S. Green Building Council) guidelines on most of our projects,” said Joe Oftelie, the director of development for City Ventures. “We kind of go above and beyond to do what works best for our customers.”
The complex has Irving Gill-inspired architecture, Oftelie said.
The homes in Downey will have solar power, and will include mostly native, drought-tolerant landscaping, Oftelie said.
At one of the company’s developments in Signal Hill, the project was so energy efficient that Southern California Edison started billing customers at the site quarterly instead of monthly, Oftelie said.
“People were getting electric bills for 63 cents or something ridiculously low like that,” he said.
While it’s a goal that’s out of reach for now, the company hopes to create a “net-zero” carbon emission development in the future, Oftelie said.
The land in Downey is zoned for commercial use, and City Ventures will request a land-use change when the proposal goes before the Planning Commission on Aug. 15.
When the city’s land-use plan was revised in 2005, nobody saw the economic crash coming. Since then, hundreds of Southern California car dealerships have closed, including several in Downey. The land is owned by Ford Motor Credit.
“The plan was updated before I worked here, but I don’t think they were anticipating all those closures,” said David Blumenthal, a senior planner for Downey.
Oftelie said City Council members in communities all over the state are coming to the realization that car dealers will likely never come back to some locations.
“A lot of cities are going in a different direction,” he said.
If the project were to go forward, it would be another residential addition to a city that has seen a huge population expansion the last 20 years.
The city’s population in 1990 was about 90,000, but has now swelled to 112,000 residents, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
The city also recently announced that a developer had received funding for a 50-unit, low-income apartment complex in Downtown Downey.