NORWALK – The Norwalk City Council agreed to enter into an exclusive negotiating agreement with Mercy Housing California on Tuesday, as it looks ahead to potentially developing affordable housing for military veterans.
The city owns a 1.45-acre site on the southwest corner of San Antonio Drive and Foster Road.
The potential project has been discussed by council several times in closed session, however this was the first time the project was brought to a regularly scheduled meeting.
City staff has been engaged in discussions with Mercy Housing California, one of the state’s largest developers for affordable housing for veterans.
Mercy is currently proposing to design and construct 60 apartments with a mix of one, two, and three bedrooms for people whose income range from an Area Median Income (AMI) of 30% to 60%.
The developer is also proposing a 3,000 square foot meeting room, and a 11,300 square foot courtyard/recreation area to be used for classes and events to support on-site services for the veterans and families who become residents.
It was staff’s opinion that entering an Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Mercy would provide all parties involved with the assurances and time needed to properly assess and analyze the elements of the project.
With the approval, staff may now negotiate exclusively with Mercy for the next 180 days, with City Manager Jesus Gomez having authority to extend for another six months.
If Mercy successfully meets the requirements of the ENA, then the city and the developer will enter a ground lease allowing the development of the site.
Vice Mayor Margarita Rios said she was “excited about the possibility of this project.”
“I for one don’t think that our country does enough for our veterans,” said Rios. “The possibility of this project I think definitely will fill a need in our community.”