Affordable housing development proposed for downtown gets the green light

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SAN DIEGO — The Board of Supervisors Tuesday cleared the path for an affordable housing development in downtown San Diego.

By a 5-0 vote, the panel approved a 99-year lease and agreement for Bridge Housing Corp. to build a 120-unit complex at 1501-1555 Sixth Ave.

“There is a critical need for affordable housing, and (this project) is in the affordable range,” Supervisor Greg Cox said.

Marko Medved, director of the county Department of General Services, said when completed in late 2024, the project will be 100% affordable. The development will feature 60 units each for senior citizens and families, be eight stories high and have underground parking, Medved said. To make way for the housing development, a vacated building that once served as the county’s Family Court will be demolished next year.

During the meeting, two area residents raised several concerns, including whether the future housing development would affect their views and whether parking is adequate.

Y. Sachiko Kohatsu said her building is right behind the planned development. Kohatsu, who also sits on the San Diego Repertory Theater’s board of trustees, said she supports affordable housing, but the board needs to “consider our right to sun and fresh air.”

Evan Jones, a homeowner at Mills at Cortez Hill, which is located adjacent to the planned development, suggested that the county limit its height. He also asked that the development be dog-free to cut down on noise and dog waste. “Let’s not erode the quality of life for those who call Cortez Hills home,” Jones said.

Cox said he understood the residents’ concerns, and asked county staff to work on minimizing impacts on the neighborhood. He added that affordable housing projects often meet with opposition.

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