Marin City council promises value ‘irregularities’ in overhaul system

A lawyer representing the resident council of Golden Gate Village is alleging “significant money discrepancies and irregularities” with regard to the approximated value to renovate the Marin City community housing complicated.

Developed in 1960, Golden Gate Village is made up of 8 significant-rise and 22 very low-rise properties on about 32 acres. Some 300 very low-revenue people, a the vast majority of them African American, stay in sponsored housing there. Some apartments have been occupied by the exact loved ones in excess of various generations.

Many years of insufficient funding from the federal federal government has still left the complex badly in want of fix.

On Nov. 17, the New Jersey-primarily based Michaels Improvement Co., with which the Marin Housing Authority is performing to redevelop Golden Gate Village, approximated it will value $282.3 million to renovate the complex’s eight large-increase structures and 20 of its 22 reduced-rise structures.

In a letter to Marin supervisors, who make up a vast majority of the housing authority’s board, law firm Diane Hanna mentioned this is a $219 million boost from an estimate prepared for the county in 2018. It is also an improve of much more than $192 million from a bodily wants evaluation organized for the housing company this 12 months.

Hanna said she is component of a group of volunteers that consists of architects, accountants and residential developers who are assisting the Golden Gate Village council at no charge.

Hanna wrote that Michaels’ estimate equates to a renovation cost of $941,000 for each apartment, irrespective of the actuality that the buildings’ foundations, cores, shells and roofs have all been deemed to be in very good affliction by the housing authority and its consultants.

“This is a shocking determine, and by itself really should increase a severe pink flag for the board” regarding economic assumptions by the housing authority and the developer, Hanna wrote.

She stated his figure far exceeds the cost-for every-residence an experienced real estate developer would expend to renovate even a luxurious condominium in just about any serious estate marketplace.

Kecia Boulware, a regional vice president for Michaels, wrote in an e mail, said the firm will defer to the Board of Supervisors on a reaction to the letter.

Marin County Counsel Brian Washington explained the housing authority “will overview the letter and respond.”

Lewis Jordan, the housing authority director, wrote in an email, “We received the letter on December 7, 2020 and are continue to reviewing it. Presented the size and thorough matters pointed out, we will require to have interaction our consultants to get ready a response that carefully addresses just about every issue. After our overview is full, we will share our responses.”

All through the Nov. 17 meeting of the housing authority board, Jordan explained he expected to submit a $387 million prepare to the Marin County Community Development Company for environmental evaluation by the stop of the 12 months.

Through that conference, Marin County Administrator Matthew Hymel stated that the task as envisioned has a $9 million funding gap and that the county would be predicted to support fill that gap, along with other probable donors this sort of as the Marin Neighborhood Basis.

Hanna states that at in excess of $172 million, the gentle expenditures assumed in the estimate account for 61% of the $282.3 million total.

“Most seasoned builders would benefit from a smooth price tag price of 15 to 25% of the general spending plan,” she wrote.

At the November assembly, Michaels’ government vice president, Milton Pratt, estimated it will charge an additional $104.7 million to develop two superior rises containing 156 residences as portion of the task.

Hanna asks: “Why are new design prices $269,846 much less per unit than expenses for renovation of present units?”

Hanna’s critique doesn’t end there. She also thoughts the accuracy of the bodily desires assessment this yr that came up with a $90 million estimate.

She says a $35.5 million believed charge for rough carpentry/blocking for kitchen area cabinets, which constitutes just about 40% of this estimate “is primarily based on a questionable value for each square foot and may possibly not be essential in any respect dependent on Golden Gate Village’s construction variety.”

Hanna and her workforce have also identified numerous instances in the estimate wherever renovation costs for unique building types are identical. For illustration, the believed sheet metal prices for a superior rise with 168 apartments, a two-tale making with 76 flats, and a a single-tale making with 56 residences are all the similar: $153,121.

Hanna wrote, “The value duplication throughout setting up styles was not done in any discernibly consistent method and is difficult to rationalize.”

Hanna stated the team also noticed faults in gross square footage and other calculations.

In March 2019, the Marin Housing Authority entered into an settlement with Michaels to execute predevelopment setting up and scoping for the redevelopment of Golden Gate Village. In February of this 12 months, county supervisors authorized a two-12 months grasp organizing settlement with Michaels.

In an electronic mail, nevertheless, Washington, wrote, “I can ensure that the learn preparing settlement was under no circumstances finalized or executed and that the Housing Authority and Michaels are still negotiating on the venture.”

“Accordingly,” Hanna wrote in her letter, “the Marin Housing Authority and Michaels have been working toward the redevelopment of Golden Gate Village devoid of a valid contract for extra than 8 months.”

She concluded her letter, “It is time to start out in excess of and opt for a much better route forward. In executing so, we urge the board to give total and truthful thought to the Golden Gate Village Resident Council revitalization and community land have confidence in program.”

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