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Elk Grove affordable housing project officially relocated after outcry, lawsuits. Here’s where

Elk Grove has officially reached an agreement to relocate the planned Oak Rose affordable housing development, following months of controversy including a lawsuit from California’s attorney general.

During a Friday morning news conference for a groundbreaking of a separate affordable housing site in Elk Grove, Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen announced that the city and Oak Rose Apts LP would agree to move to a new site.

“We are also proud that today we are settling with one of our major litigations with Oak Rose to a bigger and better site,” Singh-Allen said at the news conference. “That is happening right now. What a day for the city of Elk Grove.”

The site was originally planned at Elk Grove Boulevard and Kent Street on the eastern edge of the city’s Old Town neighborhood. The city announced a tentative agreement in January to move forward with the project at a different site but did not disclose the new location at that time.

Singh-Allen, along with Vice Mayor Rod Brewer, first told The Sacramento Bee on Friday that the new site would be located at 8484 Elk Grove Florin Road, near Calvine Road.

“I believe it’s a win-win,” Singh-Allen said. “It’s a bigger and better site, more units and they’ll be larger…it’s an ideal location and we’re just very excited to move forward.”

The Oak Rose apartments, developed by project lead Excelerate Housing Group LLC with borrower Oak Rose Apts LP, would be the city’s first permanent housing project for low-income families transitioning from homelessness.

“Under the terms of the agreement, the City will purchase the historic district property located at 9252 Elk Grove Blvd. at the appraised value,” the city said in a news release sent after Friday’s news conference. “Simultaneously, the City will transfer ownership of the City-owned property located at 8484 Elk Grove-Florin Road to the Oak Rose developer (or its affiliated entity) at no cost for the development of permanent supportive housing.”

Singh-Allen confirmed that the Oak Rose apartments will be one-bedroom units, as opposed to the initially planned studios.

The new site for the Oak Rose apartments has already been publicly vetted and approved for affordable housing, Singh-Allen said.

“It has all of the high needs allocations that you’re looking for,” Singh-Allen said. “(There’s) access to transit, grocery stores and all those important items necessary for residents to thrive.”

Elk Grove faced lawsuits by AG and developer

The Oak Rose project was previously subject to lawsuits, as Elk Grove was twice sued regarding the development.

The first lawsuit came from project developer Oak Rose Apt, LP, challenging the council’s decision to reject the proposed development in July 2022.

The city news release said Elk Grove will give a $5 million grant to the project using funds dedicated to affordable housing. The city said it will also reimburse the developer $850,000, pay damages of $860,000 and the developer’s attorneys’ fees of $600,000 in connection with the project and its lawsuit.

According to the Elk Grove news release, the city would have until June 30 of this year to formally approve or reject the project at its new site.

Under the settlement agreement with Excelerate, if the city does not approve the site by the June 30 deadline, the developer can choose to terminate the agreement. If that happens, the city news release said Elk Grove will pay $2.2 million to the developer, and both the Old Town and Elk Grove Florin Road sites will remain with the city, relieving it of any additional outstanding grant payments.

“After months of negotiations with the City of Elk Grove, we are grateful to have reached a compromise that allows us to move forward with developing affordable housing for those experiencing homelessness in the City,” Dana Trujillo, president and CEO of Excelerate Housing Group, said in a statement.

The other suit was brought forth by California Attorney General Rob Bonta in May, alleging that Elk Grove broke state housing law in denying the project last year and repeatedly defied Senate Bill 35, a law that compels cities to expedite affordable housing projects.

According to a city news release, the lawsuit filed by the state of California remains pending and is not part of the city’s settlement with the Oak Rose development team.

But the city said officials are hopeful that the settlement with the Oak Rose private developers will also prompt a “swift and reasonable resolution” with the state.

Singh-Allen has since been in contact with Bonta and confirmed the agreement to relocate the site.