LocationAlhambra , CA United States
The Alhambra will finally get a long-planned high-density residential development, after securing investments from two Chinese companies.
The Ratkovich Company is partnering with the Elite International Investment Fund and Future Land Holdings to build 1,061 housing units in a project that they’re calling the Villages at the The Alhambra. They presented a 10-year construction plan at Alhambra’s City Council meeting in early October, as well as at a public meeting held last week.
Officials are putting together a full environmental impact report for the project, given heavy traffic congestion and environmental contamination in the area. Construction would first begin on a parking structure on Date Avenue, in order to service the offices already at the Alhambra, then on apartment buildings along Mission Road and finally on town homes along Orange Street and Date Avenue.
Wayne Ratkovich touted this project as bringing Southern California into the future, where communities would no longer revolve around driving. He also said that the development would alleviate the area’s housing crisis. “Our goal is to do our part to ease that crisis by doing our part by producing a graceful development that meets the needs and capabilities of the current and future residents of Alhambra,” he said at the City Council presentation. Whether that also means subsidizing the units being built is unclear at this stage.
Community member Michael Lawrence questioned how much outreach project planners were doing. Representatives of the Ratkovich Company said that they had informed a large number of residents and would hold additional meetings to solicit feedback.
Lawrence also brought up the fact that the Ratkovich Company had sought a planning amendment to build high-density residential units at the Alhambra in 2006, which is zoned for professional office use. City Council had granted this amendment, allowing 75 units per acre on sites that were a minimum of 30 acres. The Ratkovich company originally planned to build 351 residential units, but scrapped those plans after the housing market crashed.