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Senior housing project has a lot of fans

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POSTED December 15, 2009 1:39 a.m.

The vacant lot that runs behind Burger King and other Manteca businesses fronting Main Street and backing up to Grant Street has been an eyesore for years.

Now that the City of Manteca is working with a San Diego-based developer to create a 52-unit affordable senior housing apartment community, both merchants and seniors are enthused about the future development that will do away with the trash-filled clearing that was at one time a makeshift homeless encampment.

Construction crews are currently working on the groundwork for the foundation.

It’s good news for people like 80-year-old Gloria Hudson who says if she weren’t lucky enough to be in the situation she’s in now she’d likely be forced to turn to a place like Magnolia Terrace. It will be the third affordable senior housing development in Manteca once completed.

“I think that the city agreeing to that is great – anything that they can do for the seniors is wonderful,” Hudson said. “I’m lucky to be able to live where I do, otherwise I’d be one of the people applying to live there.

“There are a lot of seniors on fixed incomes, and places like this help.”

Over near the construction site, Carol Bragan has been forced to stare at the trash-strewn property for years as she came and left her real estate office.

Now that something is finally being done that benefits a subset of the community that is often overlooked, Bragan says she couldn’t be happier as she watches the construction crews move along with anticipation.

“I think that as a business person, it’s going to be a marvelous thing for our area here, and it’s going to benefit a lot of the local businesses,”

Bragan said. “And then when you add a nice place for the elderly it only enhances the overall appeal of the project.

“I think that it’s good to see that the city is doing more for our seniors, and I think that once it’s completed it will help turn our little area here around.”

Not everyone, however, smells roses when it comes to the construction project.

Neighboring business owner Mike – who asked that his last name not be used in this story – believes that the cost of the project alone makes it a burden for the taxpayers.

The City Council approved the expenditure of $2 million in redevelopment funds to help subsidize the construction.

“The question that we have to be asking ourselves is what is (the true) cost of this?” Mike mused. “I think that it’s a huge waste of taxpayers’ money. I’m not against senior citizens at all – I’m a senior citizen myself – but I just think we should be watching how we’re spending our money.”



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