[Editor's Note: The report below is based on live-streaming video, watched online, of Tuesday's Planning & Zoning meeting.]
More details emerged this week about plans for the senior housing component of the planned for .
UC developers announced the selection of Belmont Village to run the senior housing component of its plan.
University developer Kevin Hufferd said Belmont Village has chosen HKIT, an Oakland-based architecture firm, to build the development.
The agreement isn't final, but Hufferd said the university and Belmont Village have signed a letter of intent, and are discussing the ground lease.
, before the , was the first announcement of these key players, who may one day make the university's vision to transform the east side of the Village a reality.
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The University of California's project at the Village involves 6.3 acres just west of San Pablo Avenue, on lots immediately north and south of Monroe Street.
The university would like to build a Whole Foods, up to 55,000 square feet, on the north side of the street, and a mixed-use development on the south side. This second site would include about 30,000 square feet of retail space and 175 senior housing units, according to Tuesday's staff report.
Because the housing would be run by a for-profit developer, Hufferd said Tuesday, Albany would collect "full revenue benefits" from the project.
(He said, overall, the project would bring in $460,000 to the general fund, with a net fiscal impact of $200,000. It would also include about 320 full-time jobs. The original timeline set an opening date by October 2013, but Hufferd said the schedule may have slipped.)
MORE DETAILS ON BELMONT VILLAGE
Belmont Village Chief Investment Officer Margaret Scott described her company's offerings to commissioners after Hufferd's presentation.
The company has senior living properties in 20 U.S. communities, including 10 in California. (See photographs from its San Jose property here.)
It's a company that will be there for the long haul, she said.
"We stay in the ownership chain for the life of Belmont Village," said Scott.
The units will offer month-by-month rentals, without any sort of "large entrance fee up front," she said.
The company would offer three levels of care: independent, assisted living and Alzheimer's. Licensed nurses would be on the site at all times.
Scott said the property would have a wellness program, housekeeping, three meals a day, a salon and beauty parlor, and programming, including a lecture-seminar series.
Belmont Village also offers a "Circle of Friends" program to help elders with cognitive impairment stay connected to the community, she said.
There would be a secured area for "wander-risk" individuals as well.
Scott said seniors could also expect a dining room, bistro, numerous outdoor areas and a fitness center, along with various floor plan options for housing.
(Scott did not provide any information about possible rental costs for Belmont Village units.)
A "Town Hall" space for senior programming also will be available for community groups.
Earlier in the evening, Hufferd said the hall would be next to an expanded open space near ; the current plans propose 31,000 square feet of open space near the creek.
(Though this is an increase from the last plan, one speaker during the public comment section said the developer was still coming up short in terms of required open space for the overall project.)
WHAT COMES NEXT: "PUD" TALKS, COUNCIL VOTE
Speakers shared comments at length during the 4 1/2 hour meeting Tuesday. In the end, commissioners recommended approval by the of the project's environmental review document and zoning changes that allow more commercial development than is currently allowed on the site.
The zoning change also includes an "overlay" that requires housing on the site, in part to meet a state mandate related to increasing density, said city Community Development Director Jeff Bond.
Commissioners did not vote on a "Planned Unit Development" designation for the site, which has been the most controversial and complex aspect of the project in recent months. A "PUD" would allow for more flexibility in terms of open space and height requirements, but also necessitates substantial public amenities.
Commissioners will discuss the PUD at their Sept. 27 meeting.
Commissioner David Arkin recused himself from the discussion because he lives and works near the project site.
A video of Tuesday's Planning & Zoning Commission meeting will be posted on the city website here.
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Everybody makes mistakes ... ! If there's something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor Emilie Raguso at 510-459-8325 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.