Council approves tax-free bond to renovate Bethel Towers

Bethel Towers in Costa Mesa will likely continue to serve low-income seniors for the next 55 years, thanks to a $37-million, tax-free bond issued to an Irvine-based developer Tuesday.

The California Statewide Communities Development Authority required the City Council's approval to float the bond to Reiner Communities because the 18-story apartment complex at 678 W. 19th St. is within the city's jurisdiction.

The approval paves the way for massive renovations to the 45-year-old building, including installing a fire sprinkler system, new flooring and lighting, and other aesthetic upgrades.

The 269-unit property consists of studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. The building's federal assistance was set to expire in 2017, Reiner Communities Investment Director Sean Burrowes told the council in June.

His company's goal is to keep the building from going to market and pricing out low-income seniors, he said.

None of the property's permanent tenants have to be relocated under Reiner's ownership, and up to 20% of the apartments will be dedicated to very low-income residents, Burrowes added.

An earlier version incorrectly said 20% of the apartments will be dedicated to low-income residents.

The property's monthly revenue is about $80,000. After the renovations, and under Reiner's ownership, Burrowes estimated monthly revenue would climb to $250,000 a month. The property will receive a different kind of federal subsidy than the funding it's currently receiving.

If a tenant can't afford the rent, federal money would cover the difference.

Twitter: @JosephSerna

Copyright © 2019, Daily Pilot
EDITION: California | U.S. & World