Mountain View plans to replace a parking lot with low-income housing

Palo Alto Housing, now known as Alta Housing, submitted this "conceptual design" for the corner of California and Bryant streets in Mountain View.

Daily Post Staff Writer

The nonprofit organization that used to be known as Palo Alto Housing Corp. wants to build 120 apartments for low-income residents on a 1.4-acre parking lot in downtown Mountain View.

Alta Housing will go to the Mountain View City Council tonight (Oct. 13) to ask for the exclusive right to negotiate to build on what is known as Lot 12 on Bryant Street between California and Mercy streets. Alta Housing also wants $1 million from the city’s Low- and Moderate-Income Housing Fund. Larger city subsidies will come later in the development.

Plans call for a $101 million building that could be as tall as six stories, depending on which option council picks.

Alta Housing wants to build 120 low-income apartments. A single person would have to earn $66,150 or less to qualify. And the building would have 4,250 square feet of “community-serving” commercial space. The project is supposed to have 245 parking spaces, replacing the parking lot’s 160 spaces and providing space for the cars of residents.

Wayne Chen, assistant community development director, and Aarti Shrivastava, assistant city manager, prepared a memo for the council about how COVID-19 has changed the development plans.

The memo said the city might need to increase its subsidy because funding sources have decreased by $5 million to $8 million because of the pandemic. The city was originally supposed to give the project a $4.25 million to $12 million subsidy.

Prior to the pandemic, council members said they wanted a child care center in the development. Child care centers are now having financial problems because of Covid which might make that more difficult, according to the memo. But the memo said child care is still important for families who can’t work from home.

One question council will be asked to address tonight is whether the development should include the 160 parking spaces it is replacing, or should the city move those spaces to another location.