A project that aims to fill two of Galt's most pressing needs - affordable senior housin and an economic shot in the arm for the downtown - is up for a vote at tonight's Galt City Council meeting.
Galt Place, a three-story, 81-unit senior complex with 10,000 square-feet of commercial space, has gained wide praise from city and community leaders.
"I think it's a pretty exciting opportunity," Galt City Councilman Darryl Clare said of the project, which would include space for a restaurant plus room for retail and offices.
"The downtown area of Galt could use this to start an interest - a momentum - to get the redevelopment going," he added.
The $22.5 million project, proposed by CFY Development, Inc., of Sacramento, would be built at 4th and D streets within the city's redevelopment district.
Cities establish such districts in order to funnel a greater share of property tax back into them, paying for everything from road and sidewalk repairs to loans for new businesses.
The developer has requested a $2.5 million redevelopment loan from the city, which the council will also decide on at the meeting.
CFY President Cyrus Youssefi said he hopes to open Galt Place by spring 2010. That is contingent, however, on an overall approval from the city, the redevelopment loan and two other key pieces of funding.
A federal tax credit and a conventional loan must also be secured, he said.
"We are very optimistic," he said from his Sacramento office. "We have a very good product (that is) very, very financially sound. … We certainly hope the city of Galt will look at our project favorably (Tuesday) night."
A new building with historic and classic designs would be constructed where an auto repair shop now sits, he added. Youseffi said he has reached an agreement to buy the shop from its owner, who is retiring.
Darla Eisenhardt, a member of the Galt Committee on Aging, said it has been several years since an affordable senior housing project opened in Galt.
U.S. Census figures showed 8.6 percent of Galt residents were 65 or older in 2000, the most recent year figures were available. Another 16.5 percent of residents were primed to reach their golden years (65 or over) by 2020.
"I've heard from a tremendous amount of elderly people asking me when (Galt Place) is going to be completed," Eisenhardt said. "There's a tremendous need because you can't get into (senior housing) places … It's almost like waiting for people to die before you can get into places."
4,502: square-feet of tenant service area, laundry room, multi-purpose room, management offices and mail services room.
81: residential apartments.
71: off-street parking spaces.
Source: city of Galt.
On a personal note, Eisenhardt said the Galt leaders made a mistake by not including the proposed 2,600-home Del Webb senior community in the city's plans last year.
That Twin Cities Road project was left out when the current council scaled back expansion plans pitched by the previous council.
The senior project, led by a different group, is now called the Delta Greens Senior Retirement Community.
"I don't know if (Galt Place) is the right trade-off, because it's not going to house the number (of seniors) needed," Eisenhardt said.
From a business perspective, however, Galt Place makes a lot of sense, noted Galt Chamber of Commerce President Karen Gamalski.
Both she and Clare, the Galt councilman, said the Galt Place proposal has led to talk of other redevelopment projects downtown.
Nothing concrete has been proposed, but several ideas are floating, they said.
"The more business for Galt the better," Gamalski added.