Work starts on $21M Cibolo housing complex
Cibolo city officials brought out their gold shovels to kickstart the construction of a $21 million apartment complex project on Wednesday.
The project known as El Sereno Senior Living will be located at 213 Somerset Avenue (currently known as 206 W. Borgfeld Rd.) and be an affordable living space for seniors 55 years and older.
“… Initially there was some questions raised whether this was a good project, but I’ve got to tell you with all the leadership … we all came together and now we have fine project,” Cibolo City Manager Robert Herrera said. “It’s a project that has become accepted by all and I understand there is a huge waiting list already for the project.”
El Sereno is expected to be a three-story community with 136 units, “including 99 one-bedroom apartments and 37 two-bedroom apartments.”
Once the project is complete, 119 units will be available for seniors, who earn 30 to 60 percent of the area median income, while the other 17 other units are expected to be at a market rental rate.
“The focus is on affordable housing and the demand is huge,” said Moe Mohanna, president and managing member of Highridge Costa Housing. “These (afford housing) developments are so badly needed in our community, whether it’s seniors or family.”
Additionally, all apartments will feature full-size appliances, such as refrigerators, built-in microwaves and dishwashers. The complex is expected to have a “community clubhouse with kitchen, Wi-Fi, on-site leasing office with property manager, game room, fitness room, yoga room, and laundry room.”
Cibolo City Councilman Verlin ‘Doug’ Garrett —who represents District 2 where the new community will be located — believes this project will give residents new opportunities.
“(El Sereno) allows a segment of the population that is aging and that wants to downsize to still have a quality life and a quality of living,” he said. “This (new community) affords them the opportunity to do that. I fought for it and I love it. It’s just a blessing that we’re doing this today.”
For Mayor Allen Dunn, El Sereno is bringing families together, he said.
“A lot of folks as they retire, are either here in the community and they want to move into something cheaper or their family lives here in the community and they want to be closer to the,” he said. “This provides a great opportunity for them to do that. It’s really about letting people who want to stay here in Cibolo and letting people move in. It’s basically putting families back together is a great way to look at this.”
The project was awarded $1.5 million in tax credits for more than a 10-year period through the Housing Tax Credit Program by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs (TDHCA) to help finance the development.
In addition to the tax credits, Cibolo Economic Development Corporation provided a $250 economic development grant, a news release said.
Highridge Costa Housing out of California and Casa Linda Development Corporation and Garden from Dallas are developing El Sereno, while Humphreys & Partners Architects with HCHP Contractors are serving as the architects.
While the project isn’t expected to be completed until Fall 2018, the complex’s property management company, UAH Property Management, has a waiting list for potential residents.
“The property management and the city of Cibolo’s office have been inundated with phone calls,” Mohanna said. “People are asking ‘how do we get our name on the list’ and we haven’t even put up an official sign because of the rain and construction on the outside. However, since it’s affordable housing there are some qualifications and procedures that can’t be done until we’re closer to completion.”
Mohanna said the interest list will help when they start accepting applications.
“From our experience from these developments … it really comes from within the community,” he said. “We don’t need to advertise because potential residents will come from those already in the community and immediate surrounding community. We look forward to serving them … These are people typically who have lived here, worked here, and families who are here. So they are apart of Cibolo and this will give them an opportunity to remain in Cibolo.”Read Publication