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MOORPARK : Housing Issue May Jeopardize Hotel

Plans for the first hotel in Moorpark may be canceled unless city officials and the developer can agree on how many affordable housing units will be required for another development, a spokesman for the developer said last week.

The City Council earlier this year approved a proposal by Martin V. Smith & Associates of Oxnard to build a Country Inn on Spring Road between High Street and Los Angeles Avenue. The company has also proposed to build a complex of 60 two- and three-bedroom apartments on a lot adjacent to the hotel. City officials have requested that the developer reserve one-third of the apartments for moderate- and low-income families, said Councilman Bernardo M. Perez.

However, Smith has proposed to reserve six, or 10%, of the apartments for affordable housing, said Walter Calhoun, a spokesman for the developer. The nearby Le Club apartment complex reserves only 10% of its more than 300 apartments for lower-income households, Calhoun said.

Renting one-third of the apartments at the proposed complex for less than market rates would not be financially feasible, Calhoun said. The developer expects profits from the apartment complex to help offset anticipated losses at the hotel during the hotel’s first three years of operation, Calhoun said.

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Calhoun said that the developer considers the hotel and apartments as a package deal and that plans for the hotel might be jeopardized if the apartment complex is not viewed as profitable.

Smith plans to rent the market-rate apartments for about $1,000 and up, Calhoun said. Rents for the affordable units would be based on household income as a percentage of the county’s median income. Based on the current county median income, the rents could range from $423 to $968 a month, he said.


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