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Recently at the Cortez “hole” site (midblock between Ash and Beech, flanked by Fourth and Fifth avenues), I met with Barry Getzel, senior project manager at Wakeland Housing & Development Corporation. The aborted construction site is now filled and graded and coated green. The dry-rotted walkways are also gone. Lynda Sykes, manager of the Beechwood hotel next door, said, “It's about time.” (Click here and here for background on the Cortez “hole.”)

Getzel said Wakeland Housing plans to put up two “green” buildings, connected by an upper walkway. A construction start date is at least “one and a half years away," he said. The site will become a temporary parking lot.

In an email, Jeff Graham, vice president for redevelopment at Centre City Development Corporation, said, “[I]t could take until November or December for the [parking lot] improvements to begin."

Graham said the CCDC will negotiate with Wakeland Housing on the future housing development and that Wakeland has begun searching for an architect to create an environmentally sensitive design — an “affordable housing experience.”

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Comments

Founder Aug. 21, 2010 @ 5:53 p.m.

Good thing folks are not looking for housing now because one or two years is a very long time to wait if you need housing now!

More to the point, what are they doing for all these folks until then, as I am assuming that the Green Parking lot will NOT be for homeless carts...

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dwbat Aug. 21, 2010 @ 7:27 p.m.

The green spray-on (non-toxic) coating is to keep the site from getting muddy if/when it rains, as it won't be paved for awhile. The chain link fence and locked gates should keep people out of there. At night, it's illuminated with floodlights. Unfortunately it takes a long time for low-cost housing projects to get approved, funded and constructed, especially now in this rotten economy. When completed, it will fill up very fast. Another low-cost housing project is under construction nearby, on Cedar between 5th and 6th avenues.

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Founder Aug. 22, 2010 @ 12:04 p.m.

RE: "Unfortunately it takes a long time for low-cost housing projects to get approved, funded and constructed, especially now in this rotten economy. "

I guess the Strong Mayor knows how to cut through ALL the red tape for projects he is really interested in, while others just remain "fenced off" from financing...

CCDC has money NOW, lots of ear marked low mod housing money (+ "regular" money that could be fixing up our streets) so what is the real delay beside lack of Political Will?

That is the real question here and I encourage David Batterson to provide us all with an update ASAP.

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Founder Aug. 24, 2010 @ 3:08 p.m.

adding to #3 ... and maybe he will title it as: "Affordable Housing on the Way, Way, Back Burner".

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dwbat Aug. 24, 2010 @ 8:28 p.m.

RE: #3 "I encourage David Batterson to provide us all with an update ASAP."

My short article updated the long overdue site-filling and grading completion. It was not an overview of affordable housing in San Diego, or how the City/CCDC operates. That is something you might ask the Reader's Don Bauder about, as he's more of an expert than I am on such matters.

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