As you know, we had hoped to develop the Creekside property on Foster Avenue in Arcata, and many of you have visited the property. It looks like that may no longer be possible.
We had agreed on a purchase price of $3 million and a long escrow with the owners, Dan Johnson of Danco and his partners. This was so that we could pay for the land through bond financing and give us time to get LPH up and running. We had a signed Letter of Intent and negotiated terms for the 16-acres but had not yet gotten the sign-off on the contract. We chose the Creekside property because it would have allowed us to break ground sooner; it had already gone through the development process to be a senior community.
While details have been hard to uncover, about two weeks ago we heard through the grapevine that Cal Poly Humboldt had offered nearly twice as much in cash for the property.
While it is usual for a property bought by the State to be able to supersede local zoning requirements, the Creekside land has a development plan approved by the Arcata City Council specifically for a senior community. It is not clear if and how the University can bypass this plan. The University and the City are discussing this point.
HERE ARE THE STEPS WE ARE TAKING:
1) We have sent a letter to Cal Poly president Tom Jackson and the CSU Interim Chancellor, Jolene Koester, proposing we work together on a life plan community, as many other universities have done.
We are also working on two other excellent building site options.
2) One site is in the McKinleyville Town Center, the open land behind the Safeway we considered before. (The area is east of McKinleyville Avenue and is on either side of Hiller Road.) It has now gone through review and community input during the multi-year McKinleyville Municipal Advisory Committee process and is closer to being ready to develop. We have heard from the owner of the land, Ann Pierson, that she wants Life Plan Humboldt to be there.
3) There is also another Arcata site on M Street between Alliance and 11th Street. It consists of three lots with three separate owners (one of whom is Dan Johnson of Danco). Dan Johnson is considering buying the other two lots and developing the zoning to make the joined properties a senior community, which he would sell to us prior to occupancy.
WE ARE IN A STRONG POSITION
Life Plan Humboldt (LPH) has continued to gain grassroots support and we thank you all for spreading the word! Close to 1000 people get our monthly newsletter and we have $856,000 in donations/pledges/grants from 270 individuals and institutions toward our summer goal of $1 million.
We know when we build this community it will be successful. We have a solid business plan and are confident of success once we get to the point of securing bonds and starting construction.
WHAT WE NEED
1) Your extensive support will help us secure grants and financing, so keep spreading the word and keep donating!
The more money we have through donations and grants, the less we have to borrow to build the community, and the lower the entry fees will be.
2) We would benefit from funders who would support the LPH property purchase and our development. This support could be in the form of a loan that would be paid back when bond funding is secured, or backing an interim loan, or a straight-out donation.
3) If you support Cal Poly partnering with Life Plan Humboldt to create a new nonprofit, resident-led life plan community please contact the people listed below.
It is a win-win for both the University and all of Humboldt County.
We thank you for your support and we are committed to moving forward!
Ann Lindsay and JoAnn Schuch