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Rising costs don't deter Palo Alto from pursuing interim housing project

Original post made on Nov 2, 2021

Despite a recent spike in the projected price tag, city leaders reaffirmed on Monday their commitment to build an 88-apartment shelter for unhoused residents on San Antonio Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 9:44 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Nov 2, 2021 at 10:13 am

Online Name is a registered user.

When is the city going to start fining the "landlords" renting out all those RV's on El Camino? Do they really think people are going to leave their RV's to move into these costly boxes?


Posted by Calius
a resident of Barron Park
on Nov 2, 2021 at 11:21 am

Calius is a registered user.

The location that the city has planned to develop this much needed housing is directly in the path of wildlife corridors that cross Adobe Creek right at that location. Once again our human needs trump the needs of the wildlife that lives there. It is precisely that kind of development that is causing the Sixth Great Extinction which is happening as I write; Human encroachment on wildland. How can we stop this and force the housing to be built elsewhere?


Posted by Mike Bechler
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 2, 2021 at 11:54 am

Mike Bechler is a registered user.

26 million divided by 88 is close to 300k per unit. Really? 300k each for modular econoboxes?

The web says that costs for prefab homes run 80-160$ per square foot. This includes foundation, hookup and other necessities besides the structure. Lets start with a high figure: 150 per square foot, and 400 square feet per home. That comes to 60k per unit. Multiply by 88 and you get 5,280.000. Also note that this figure is for higher quality units, and they are probably larger than what is proposed for this site.

"If things go as planned, more than $22 million for construction costs would come from Project Homekey, while another $5 million has been pledged by a private donor, according to LifeMoves." With that kind of money, we should be able to build 450 such units. Again assuming 400 square feet per unit, that's 35200 square feet total. 26 million divided by 35200 = 738 per square foot! (I'm using the article's figure of 26 mil instead of the quoted paragraph's 27 mil)

The costs I quoted are orders of magnitude less than 26 million. Is the city paying 20 million for the land? What am I missing here?


Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Nov 2, 2021 at 9:42 pm

chris is a registered user.

This the type of housing that gets PA City Council excited. Building housing well situated for services get little consideration from our current City Council. Let's see if the Housing Element can change their attitude.


Posted by Jane
a resident of Ventura
on Nov 3, 2021 at 11:04 pm

Jane is a registered user.

LifeMoves proposed this project based on a cost model that failed to factor in the size of the apartments and then oh, oops, guess what, now that it has been approved the actual project cost will be 50% more. That was not an unknown or subtle factor. It smacks of lowballing. At the very least it is worrisome that the people managing this project have already committed such a large error right out of the gate.


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