City Goverment, Community

Affordable Housing in Hayward Gives Families Transit Access

Originally appeared in San Francisco Business Times by Meira Gebel

Brianne Elizarrey | March 27, 2017

Hayward - After being left for dead during the recession, an ambitious affordable project at the South Hayward BART station is now fully leased. A surface parking lot at the station now houses two five-story buildings, with a total of 151 affordable apartments for seniors and families.

It's just the type of transit-oriented project that planners throughout the Bay Area are heralding.

Alta Mira Senior and Family Apartments grew out of a partnership between developers and the city of Hayward and BART. Eden Housing developed Alta Mira, which sits next to Cadence, a 206-unit market-rate project built by AMCAL Housing, which is now leasing. Together the two projects create a mixed-income and mixed-age neighborhood.

"The project hits all the right notes by delivering a combination of affordable and market-rate housing with easy BART and AC Transit bus access. It's also an example of why developers are rediscovering Hayward and its multiple transportation links, proximity to employment centers and relatively attractive land values," Mayor Barbara Halliday of Hayward said.

At Alta Mira, the two affordable buildings share a huge courtyard with a playground, gardens and picnic tables. Each building has a large community room and computer center and the senior building has a fitness center.

"It has all of the stuff you would want in urban living," said Linda Mandolini, president of Eden Housing.

The family-focused building has 87 units and the building for those 62 and older holds 64 units. Residents have incomes between 30 percent and 50 percent of area median income, which translates into $27,850 and $46,450 for a family of four.

The project is the first major development around the South Hayward BART station, said City Manager of Hayward Kelly McAdoo, but the massive project originally envisioned for the site hit major challenges when the recession hit.

"The city of Hayward really worked hard to plan around the BART station, partially around the parking lot. We were looking for and wanted higher density housing, and that was made possible," said Mandolini.

Still, the cost to build was a huge challenge.

"It was a lot more expensive than anticipated," Mandolini said of the $52 million project.

Original Article