Memo Regarding Revisions to Approved Design for Block 8 at Alameda Point, February 12, 2018
Exhibit 1: Design Changes
In 2017, the Planning Board approved the Design Review plans for “Block 8” at Alameda Point consistent with the Site A Development Plan approved in 2015. Block 8 includes 130 deed restricted affordable housing unit for seniors and families to be developed and managed by Eden Housing. Since the approvals for Site A in 2015 and the Design Review approvals for Block 8 in 2017, several issues have arisen.
Construction costs in the Bay Area have increased between 30 and 40% since 2015. Unlike prior economic booms, short supply of labor is the main driver of these cost increases and the small pool of union signatory general contractors and sub-contractors available in the Bay Area. Due to these cost problems, the development of Site A by Alameda Point Partners has been delayed. The construction delays have begun to put some of the affordable housing funding secured for Block 8 by Eden Housing at risk. Some of the secured funding for Block 8 requires commencement of construction by January 2019. To commence construction in 2019, Eden Housing must invest significant resources in building construction plans immediately.
The Tax Reform Bill that went into effect January 1, 2018 reduced the corporate tax rate to 21%. This reduction has had a dramatic impact on Low Income Housing Tax Credit pricing. The Low Income Housing Tax Credit is the main source of financing for affordable housing projects in California, and throughout much of the nation. As a result of the corporate tax rate cut, the tax credit is much less valuable to corporations, which reduces value of the credits to the project.
For these reasons, City staff and the City Council have been working with Eden to investigate strategies that would allow Eden Housing to proceed to construction before the rest of Site A.
As the result of the cost increases and tax changes, Eden Housing has requested that planning staff approve some changes to the design of the buildings approved by the Planning Board in 2017. Staff believes the changes are relatively minor, that the revisions are in substantial compliance with the Planning Boards original approvals, and do not warrant a public hearing to process a Design Review Amendment.