Anaheim buys blighted motel to create affordable housing

City paid $5.5M, down from $6.3M ask for

Los Angeles /
May.May 05, 2022 03:01 PM
Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu and theTampico Motel at 120 South State College Street (Getty, LoopNet)
Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu and theTampico Motel at 120 South State College Street (Getty, LoopNet)

The City of Anaheim has agreed to buy a run-down motel for $5.5 million and convert it into affordable housing.

The City Council voted to buy the 32-room Tampico Motel at 120 S. State College St., with plans to redevelop the two-story building into affordable apartment units, the Los Angeles Times reported. Once a deal is closed, it will issue a request for developers.

State Sen. Tom Umberg helped earmark $5.5 million in state funds for the city. The Anaheim Housing Authority originally sought to acquire the 26-room Kona Inn on Brookhurst Street, but couldn’t settle on an agreed-upon price.

City staff identified Tampico Motel as an alternate site for Anaheim’s third motel conversion project, which is similar to the state’s Project Homekey effort. It was originally listed for $6.3 million.

“The Tampico Motel presents an opportunity to acquire a site at a reasonable price, and it is larger than the site that we were initially slated to buy,” Grace Ruiz-Stepter, executive director of the Anaheim Housing Authority, told council members during the April 26 meeting. “We do know from our colleagues in law enforcement that the property is the subject of some concerns regarding potential nuisance uses.”

Anaheim officials describe the 12,295-square-foot motel, built in 1960, as a community eyesore.

Councilman Stephen Faessel, who represents the district where the motel is located, described the East Terrace neighborhood behind it as being “under siege.”

“You were too kind in the adjectives you used about that property,” Faessel told Ruiz-Stepter. “This is a huge, huge win for State College [Boulevard]. The Tampico has been the focus of police actions for decades.”

Anaheim will help cover the relocation costs of long-term Tampico Motel residents.

Though too early in the process, Ruiz-Stepter believed a “prime use” for the property would be a conversion to senior housing similar to El Verano Apartments, which was built at the site of the former Sandman Motel and now serves formerly homeless and at-risk seniors.

“The affordable housing development community is very creative,” she added, “and they often exceed our expectations.”

[Los Angeles Times] – Dana Bartholomew





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