FREMONT, Calif. — Centerville is set to lose some of its historic architecture to make room for a mixed-use development with 60 housing units.
On Thursday, Aug. 24, the Fremont Planning Commission unanimously approved a series of recommendations that will allow for the construction of the Veranda Mixed-Use Project on three lots on Fremont Boulevard near the Center Theater. The project is expected to include 60 townhome-style condominium units with nine affordable units, 1,100 square feet of commercial space and 6,000 square feet of community open space.
“It’s really great to see affordable housing units actually being offered onsite instead of in-lieu fees,” Planning Commission Chair Charles Haiyun Liu said, “and I’m hoping more developers will follow your example.”
Three of the affordable units are for moderate-income people making between about $93,000 and $124,250 for a one-person household and between $106,500 and $142,000 for a two-person household. Six are for low-income people making between $62,000 and $78,500 for a one-person household and between $71,000 and $89,750 for a two-person household.
In total, the plan includes eight 1- to 3-story buildings with a varying number of two- and three-bedroom units ranging from about 1,175 to 1,700 square feet. Eight of the three-bedroom units are expected to have roughly 260-square-feet accessory dwelling units. Kian Malek, director of development at City Ventures, which is constructing the project, told the commission that the accessory dwelling units are “a great way to provide intergenerational housing in an area.”
“It’s also a very convenient way for homeowners to provide supplemental income for themselves,” Malek said, “and, in general, ADUs provide naturally affordable housing to the area.”
All of the units are expected to have a private garage and three uncovered parking spaces for guests.
The plan includes the demolition of three existing buildings, which were built between 1913 and 1955 though the city’s staff report stated none of them qualify as historic resources. They currently house several businesses, including event venue Century House and Gardens and dance school Tiffany’s Dance Academy, and sit opposite a vacant lot.
Two residents spoke in favor of the project, saying it would provide much-needed housing. One union member said it would provide local jobs.
The planning commission’s decision included the approval of developer City Ventures Residences‘ design review permit, vesting tentative tract map, request to develop private streets for the development, and request to remove 19 protected trees that are expected to be replaced by 44 new trees. The commissioners also decided that the plan is consistent with the general plan and zoning ordinance and does not require additional environmental review. Commissioners Jasmine Basrai and Reena Rao were absent.
The commission’s decision is final unless the decision is appealed to the Fremont City Council within 10 days.
Photo caption: The Fremont Planning Commission on Aug. 24 unanimously approved the Veranda Mixed-Use Project, which will demolish three existing buildings on Fremont Boulevard in Centerville (two photographed) to make way for eight buildings with commercial space and housing. (Sonia Waraich – East Bay Echo)