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Cornerstone Apartments

Cornerstone Apartments

In April 2012, a revised multi-phased, mixed use development proposed near the Downtown BART station was presented to the City Council and the public. The revised plans reflect a more balanced and financially feasible development plan that not only furthers the City’s Downtown Transit-Oriented Development Strategy but also incorporates innovative high technology/economic development opportunities for the City including Lit San Leandro.

A key change was that the 200 unit Cornerstone rental development on the existing BART parking lot site (1400 San Leandro Boulevard) would shift from market rate to affordable rental housing and be developed by BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a nationally recognized nonprofit affordable housing developer and property manager. Another change was that the private developer Westlake Development Partners would develop a multi-phased downtown technology campus on property it owns west of the San Leandro BART Station which was originally intended for a affordable rental housing by BRIDGE Housing.  The Cornerstone and downtown tech campus are now distinct development projects on separate planning and construction schedules.

On May 6, 2013 BRIDGE Housing and City staff presented to the City Council a revised design for the Cornerstone that are in keeping with existing planning entitlements and the Downtown TOD Strategy.  Key revised components to Cornerstone include: 1) development of the 200 units in two phases - 115 units of affordable workforce/family housing followed by 85 units of senior affordable housing, 2) provision for BART indoor replacement parking on-site including an additional of a second level of underground parking, 4) lowered height for the building façade facing Carpentier Street, and 5) inclusion of a groundfloor community childcare center. 

Maintaining BART parking at the Cornerstone site keeps parking close to the BART station and Downtown San Leandro. BART replacement parking will be provided at a 75% level consistent with the Downtown TOD Strategy. City staff is exploring additional off-site parking nearby for BART riders to achieve 100% replacement. For instance, additional parking spaces will be available on San Leandro Boulevard as a result of the streetscape improvements currently underway. 

The updated Cornerstone affordable rental housing project represents the first residential development to occur under the Downtown TOD Strategy. Cornerstone will enhance downtown with its attractive architectural design and increase public transit usage and the number of people patronizing downtown businesses. Cornerstone, which will cost about $50 million to construction, has leveraged over $30 million in public funding ($9.1 million loan from the former Redevelopment Agency and over $22 million in Proposition 1C grant funding from the State,) and will help the City meet its State and federal affordable and workforce housing goals.

The estimated timelines for the two proposed phases of the Cornerstone are below

Phase I (Family Housing – 115 units)

  • March 2014-Low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) deadline
  • June 2014 – LIHTC award
  • July 2014 – Building permit submittals
  • December 2014 – Start of construction
  • May 2016 – Construction completed

Phase II (Senior Housing – 85 units

  • July 2016 – LIHTC application
  • September 2016 – LIHTC  award
  • November 2016 – Building permit submittals
  • March 2017 – Start of construction
  • August 2018 – Construction completed