Doran Gardens development opens

Aram Hadadian and his wife couldn’t believe it when they found out they’d be moving to a new affordable housing development in South Glendale.

“The economy was bad, everything was bad, we didn’t have hope we were going to get a home,” he said at the grand opening of Doran Gardens on Thursday morning.

“Fortunately we made it,” said Hadadian, a computer technician who currently lives in a Glendale apartment.

He and his wife snagged one the of 57 craftsman-style units, bordered by a 1/3 acre park, available for first-time homebuyers with moderate incomes.

About 50 people attended the grand opening event for the development on the 300 block of West Doran Street. The one to four bedroom units are priced between $231,700 and $315,500 — about 30% below the median price for the local market.

The $34.1-million development was a joint partnership between the city of Glendale and Pasadena-based Heritage Housing Partners.

About 20 homes already have buyers, but the rest are still up for grabs. The first owners are expected to move in next month.

In addition to the affordable units, the development includes three renovated historical homes to be sold at market rate, or between $550,000 and $600,000.

The land the development sits on was once a parking lot and “an eyesore” said Mayor Frank Quintero. Councilman Ara Najarian said he was stunned the transformation

“Think of all the new lives that are going to be started here,” Najarian said.

Christina Nelson, who lives across the street in a rented townhouse with her husband, a postal worker, and two children, perused several of the units during the ceremony.

Nelson, who is eight months pregnant, said her family has been waiting for Doran Gardens to open.

Although she believes her family can afford a home there, the cost would be pushing their budget to the limit.

In addition to their mortgage, homeowners will also pay $234 in monthly homeowner association fees and will need roughly $18,000 to $23,000 for the down payment and closing costs, according to Heritage's website.

“It’s still scary with the economy,” said Nelson, whose family is within the required income range of $47,250 to $83,950. “We’d like to consider it but we’re still cautious.”

Even if they don’t move to Doran Gardens, Nelson said she was excited to bring her kids to the new public park there set to open in a few weeks.

“We’re going to benefit either way,” she said.

-- Brittany Levine, Times Community News

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