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City to apply for $1.1 million grant on IMACA’s behalf

April 3, 2012

On behalf of the Inyo-Mono Advocates for Community Action, the City of Bishop last week agreed to apply for more than $1 million in state CDBG funds to tear down and rebuild the Valley Apartments on Clarke Street in Bishop, which are designated for disabled and senior residents only. Photo by Mike Gervais

City leaders are teaming up with the Inyo Mono Advocates for Community Action to apply for state funds to tear down and rebuild a senior living facility that has been in operation since the 1940s.
Last week, the Bishop City Council approved IMACA’s request that the city apply for $1.1 million of state Community Development Block Grant to reconstruct the Valley Apartments on Clarke Street.
If the grant is approved, IMACA said $1 million will be used for reconstruction of the apartments. IMACA wants to put the remaining $100,000 towards “Planning and Technical Assistance Activities,” including planning the future development of an affordable housing project off of MacIver Street and a related Master Sewer Plan. The MacIver Street housing would be funded by with Home Partnership Funds and tax credits.
The more immediate reconstruction project will result in the temporary relocation of residents of the Valley Apartments during demolition and construction.
“The Valley Apartments, at 156 E. Clarke St., were built as a motel/hotel in the 1940s and 1950s,” IMACA’s Interim Housing Development Supervisor Larry Emerson of said. “The apartments are beyond their useful life.”
IMACA purchased the hotel/motel in 1981, using low-interest loans from the California Department of Housing and Community Development, to provide a low-cost senior living facility in Bishop.
The Valley Apartments include 19 small apartments, 18 of which are designated for senior-restricted affordable housing, with the last serving as a manager’s unit.
“IMACA has owned and managed the apartment complex for more than 30 years and the structures and the structures are showing age and deterioration,” the grant application states. “Major repairs have been made to many of the dwellings and the water and electrical delivery infrastructure is in need of replacement.”
The IMACA Board of Directors said it has decided to rebuild the apartments due to the age of the structure, wear and tear and because the apartments, because they were originally designed as motel rooms, are relatively small.
IMACA is proposing the construction of a two-story structure to replace the Valley Apartments, with 19 new dwellings for disabled and senior residents.
If the state approves funding, the new apartment complex will include an interior elevator and stairwell and a common area with about 610 square feet that can be used as a lounge, exercise or laundry area.
A large cottonwood tree that is currently in the apartment courtyard will have to be removed during construction.
A time line for the project is dependent on the state’s approval of the CDBG request.
If funding is approved, IMACA said it is anticipated that relocating current residents will take approximately two months and demolition of the building will take about the same amount of time.
Construction of the new apartment complex is expected to take about eight months.
“The total project schedule time frame is currently projected as one year from relocation to occupancy,” the grant application states. “At this point in time, the project proponent is striving to begin the construction project in the spring of 2013 and complete the construction in the spring of 2014.”

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