Created: 08/08/2014 9:31 PM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4
More than 10 developers are in line to develop an affordable housing complex on vacant city property, in of the city's oldest neighborhoods, that's collected trash and vagrants for more than a decade.
"It's been there for, like, ever," Laryssa Davalos said.
"It's always been like that," Vicente Ocana said.
The property is 3.3 acres in size, just north of Central Avenue NW near 57th Street. Broken beer bottles are littered throughout it.
City leaders have been aware of the concern, but said there's been little interest in anyone developing the property.
Now, through a public-private partnership, the city's Department of Family and Community Services is soliciting bids from contractors.
"And we've had great interest up until now," department director Doug Chaplin said in an interview with KOB Eyewitness News 4.
The winning bidder would receive $2.2 million from the Workforce Housing Trust Fund and would agree to build and manage affordable rental units for seniors.
"We will also require the developer to work very closely with this neighborhood, reach out to them, meet with the neighbor associations, and find out what would be acceptable to the neighborhoods," Chaplin said.
The bid paperwork said the development would be mixed-use and open to people 62 years old and older.
Since the project is still up for bid, he said there aren't any sketches depicting what the complex would look like. But he said a developer would likely be able to build at least 60 units.
KOB spoke with several neighbors who would welcome any development on the land. They're tired of looking at the mess that's there today.
"It's kind of like depressing to see a big, old empty lot there with trash in it," Davalos said.
The bid process closes in mid-September.