Jamboree Housing Corporation – a leading nonprofit developer in California – in partnership with the Butte County Affordable Housing Development Corporation (BCAHDC), is proposing the redevelopment of the 1297 Park site in Chico, California, replacing the Jesus Center building with an affordable multifamily property.
Plans for the new construction project include 59 apartment homes for individuals, working families, vulnerable seniors, and those with special needs. Currently, the property design includes 20 studios, 30 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom apartments, and one three-bedroom apartment. Common areas will feature space for onsite services, a kitchen, leasing offices, and outdoor recreation amenities.
Services at the property will be tailored to meet the unique needs of residents. Programs that foster learning, health and wellness, and community building will be provided. An onsite program coordinator will assist residents in accessing local community services. Based on local housing needs, the City of Chico is doing its part to provide solutions that address the need for more housing near downtown.
We had our first online neighborhood workshop for the community to obtain input on the design of the proposed new construction development on Thursday, May 14, 7pm. Members of the surrounding community joined Jamboree and its development partner, Butte County Affordable Housing Development Corporation (BCAHDC), as well as the project architect, Kuchman Architects PC for the digital conversation.
When neighbors asked if the BMX track would be a more suitable location for the development rather than near a residential neighborhood, it was explained that the BMX track development is independent of this project. This project at 1297 Park Ave is the proposed reuse of the Jesus Center property, which will be vacated by the Jesus Center. The property’s existing zoning allows for the development of housing and its proposed density. Encouraged by the new Park Avenue corridor plan, this project is proposed to address the significant need for affordable housing in Chico.
Neighbors asked whether the building architecture would be designed to fit with the unique businesses and historic neighborhoods surrounding it, setting a standard for future development of the Park Ave corridor. According to Philip Harvey of Kuchman Architects, the development will take advantage of the Park Avenue commercial corridor zone and meet the design vision for the future of the corridor. The brick façade is designed to bridge the surrounding residential neighborhood with the commercial corridor aesthetic of Park Avenue. Meeting attendees were invited to attend the City’s Architectural Review Board public meeting on June 17 to share additional input related to the building design.
Site development will include demolition of the existing Jesus Center building and construction of 58 affordable apartments and one manager’s unit in a new four-story building. Functional windows and balcony doors will encourage residents to sit out on their balconies and enjoy the outdoors. Community amenities will include a community garden, outdoor dining areas, pet park, laundry rooms located throughout the property, extensive common areas with multipurpose rooms, management offices and a community kitchen area. If funding for the project is secured as planned in the current timeline, demolition will begin in spring 2021.
Parking lot lights will consist of lower LEDs that point down and will be dimmable. There will be additional lighting in the courtyard, as well as all around the building.
A brief description of planned sustainable features includes the use of solar power, low E windows, a higher level of insulation, a cool roof, native drought tolerant plants and smart irrigation systems.
Neighbors expressed concern about property traffic feeding onto East 12th Street, described as a busy street in an area with ample pedestrian traffic. Additional questions asked included the City’s involvement regarding traffic regulations and whether a through stop along East 12th Street is planned. Jamboree will be working very closely with the City to move the project forward. Traffic studies – including but not limited to impact studies – will be performed. There will not be any access to the new community from East 12th Street. Planned exits include one exit on Locust Street and one onto East 13th Street. The new community will have a parking lot with indoor bike parking and sufficient parking for residents as well as space for delivery trucks to contain all property traffic to the property without impact to the surrounding neighborhood.
Several neighbors asked who would live in the new affordable housing. The new community will be affordable to households who earn between 30% and 60% of the area median income (AMI). The project has secured 43 project-based section 8 vouchers for future residents. There will be an agreement in place that will restrict the community to this affordability level for at least 55 years. Because of the high number of studio apartments, it is not expected that many families will reside at this community. Pets are welcome, and a pet park is planned as part of the development.
Neighbors inquired about the types of health services that will be provided to residents. Custom services – including after-school programs for children, food distribution, health and education programs – will be determined after move-in to meet the specific needs of the residents. Jamboree will provide the resident services directly or work with local community service providers to deliver the requested programs and services.