ORCHARD

Orchard Park apartments.

Orchard Park Apartments will undergo renovations at its 144-unit complex on Cougar Way in Beaumont, but the project will not cost the city any money.

Spira Equity Partners has requested no more than $14 million in tax-exempt multi-family housing revenue bonds to do repairs and improvements to the existing apartment complex, built in 1989, and it is a low income apartment complex.

Funding will come from the California Statewide Community Development Authority.

The city of Beaumont will not be responsible for any funding of the project, said Community Development Director Christina Taylor, during the Aug. 6 council meeting.

The city council voted unanimously to approve the project.

The apartments are at 423 Cougar Way in Beaumont.

There is no liability on the city’s part nor financial investment. The bonds are issued directly from the developer to the borrower.

Although the developer is asking for bonds totalling $14.5 million, they may only need $4.5 million, said Taylor.

Resident Ron Roy said he wanted to see drawings for the improvements and asked about the plans for the apartments. Roy also wanted to know if the city had a rent control policy.

Mayor Julio Martinez asked Taylor to clarify the city’s role in the funding. Taylor said that the developer asked that the city hold a public hearing for them since the project does involve government bonds.

It is an unusual request because the borrower is a private entity, and they do not have a public forum so they asked the city to hold the public hearing.

Steven Ho, representing the developer, said that the renovations will likely cost $4.7 million.

The architect’s drawing shows a 10 percent decrease in energy efficiency and a water savings of 25 percent.

Councilmember Lloyd White asked about the plans and drawings. He asked to clarify that the developer would qualify for the government bonds by holding the public hearing through the city.

The plans are being submitted today, Aug. 16. To the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee.

Once approved for the bonds, the developer can focus on building 15 additional units that are ADA accessible as well as putting in guard rails.

Councilmember Mike Lara also wanted to make sure that the $14 million was not from the city. The answer was no.

City treasurer Baron Ginnetti questioned why the apartment complex would need $41 million if it was only going to use $4.5 million for the improvements.

City attorney John Pinkney said that the city has no liability toward the renovations. “If the project is not successful, it’s not going to impact the city or the taxpayers of the city,” he said.

The staff cost to prepare the report was $2,500.

Staff writer Julie Farren may be reached at jfarren@recordgazette.net .

Staff Writer Julie Farren may be reached at jfarren@recordgazette.net.

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