WHAT IS THE MIXTURE OF UNITS? AND WHY ARE THERE NO 2 BEDROOM UNITS?
Studios = 13 (54%)
1BR = 11 (46%)
One reason we are building studios and 1BRs is because providing larger units would require more parking spaces, and force the unit count to be lower, which increases the cost per unit. This would jeopardize our goal of providing housing to the Missing Middle, such as teachers and firefighters.
HOW MUCH AFFORDABLE HOUSING WILL THIS PROJECT PROVIDE?
The projection is 5 units out of the 24 will be Below Market Rate. The 20% BMR units will be rented at Very Low Income (VLI) and Low Income (LI) rates in accordance to Santa Clara County. (https://www.santaclaraca.gov/home/showdocument?id=67437)
WHY SO MANY UNITS?
Our goal is to provide housing at lower price points than luxury apartments. Having more units reduces the fixed cost per unit, and thus lowers the rents.
DOES THE WELLESLEY PROJECT HAVE PARKING?
Yes, we have ground level parking planned as well as a lot of bike storage.
WHO IS THE OWNER?
Cato Investment Company owns the Wellesley properties. We are not affiliated with Stanford.
CIC is a San Francisco based group of investors and is a privately held, mission-focused ownership group that seeks to build housing where it is most needed. Think of it not as a traditional company, but more like a private mutual fund. Its investors are willing to accept very low returns in order to further the mission to provide accessible, affordable housing. As such, our goal is to choose projects for maximum affordability of both the market-rate and income-restricted units (also known as BMR), without public subsidy or going into the red. If we find a way to lower costs, we reduce the average rent, vs increasing the profit like a regular real estate investor would do.
HOW IS CATO DIFFERENT FROM TRADITIONAL DEVELOPERS?
Our projects are not designed to maximize profits. We aim to run the project so that the cash flow from rents covers all annual costs (mortgage, maintenance, administration, taxes etc). Currently, 70% of the properties that Cato owns are rented at below market rates.