Up to 800 units planned at Richmond BART Station
Mar 1, 2016, 10:40am PST
Julian Mark Intern San Francisco Business Times
Developers AMG & Associates and The Pacific Cos. are planning to build as many as 800 market-rate and affordable units near the Richmond BART Station.
The units will join 132 condos built as the first phase of the Richmond Transit Village-Metro Walk. The second phase, originally 99 affordable condos, is now being revised to include between 300 and 800 apartments for workers and seniors. At least 30 percent of them will be affordable, said Alexis Gevorgian, founder of AMG & Associates, a Los Angeles-based developer that specializes in affordable housing.
AMG & Associates Founder Alexis Gevorgian, left, and the Pacific Cos. CEO Caleb Roope are planning to build as many as 800 market-rate and affordable units near the Richmond BART Station.
“There is an affordable housing crisis in Richmond, and it’s part of the mayor’s mission to build more affordable housing,” Gevorgian said when asked why AMG decided to pursue the project.
Depending on the unit count, the estimated project cost is between $75 million and $200 million, with each unit costing $250,000. Gevorgian said the unit count will depend on “depth of market,” quality of design, and fund-raising. He said AMG will be applying for California State Prop 1C funds, which support high-density transit oriented development.
A general contractor and estimated completion date have yet to be determined, Gevorgian said.
The originally planned 99 affordable condos were to be developed by The Olson Co., which completed the first phase of the transit village consisting of 132 condos, retail and parking. Due to changes in the market, Olson backed away from the agreement, which was executed fifteen years ago.
“That’s quite some time ago, and our hopes would be that we could get something more dense in that area,” said Chad Smalley, capital projects manager at the City of Richmond.
Construction is slated to begin in two years, Gevorgian said. AMG is currently in the process of drafting a new development disposition agreement with BART. The project is also seeking BART and city approvals. How much AMG will pay for the BART land isn't yet determined.
Paul Voix, principal property development officer at BART’s department of real estate and property development, said that construction can only begin after the City of Richmond completes improvements to the east side of the station's entrance.
“We’re very excited,” Voix said about the increase in density.
AMG has two other Richmond projects currently in the final stages of the approvals process — a six-story 289-unit apartment complex on 23rd Street and a six-story 155-unit affordable apartment building on Central Avenue are both seeking approvals from the design review board. The developer also recently opened 62 apartments for seniors on Harbor Way.
The increased density of the Richmond Transit Village comes as BART is seeking to streamline its transit-oriented development policy. At a workshop on Thursday, the BART Board was scheduled to discussed how to bring more units, both affordable and market-rate, near BART stations, according to PowerPoint slides from the meeting.