SBCC has chance to snag four more teacher condos

Olivia Palmer, Olivia Palmer, and Olivia Palmer

City College faculty and staff have already been offered a chance to buy seven Mediterranean-style condos with ocean views for $350,000, but the college now has the opportunity to snag four more.

Developer Mark Lloyd obtained an extra plot of land next to the original condo site on Santa Fe Avenue on the Mesa and is hoping to build about nine more homes on that plot, four of which he wants to reserve for the college.

“The people who get these homes are going to be so happy,” said Joseph Sullivan, vice president of Business Services. “I don’t think we’ll have any trouble finding employees to fill the homes.”

The second set of condos, if acquired, will differ from the first set in regards to how they will be purchased. In order to save money on interest and keep the project in motion, the developers have requested that City College pay a fourth of the money for the homes each quarter of the time that the construction takes. That means that, since there are four condos at $360,000 each, the school would pay $1.4 million over the next two years until the selected teachers can buy the homes.

The school would have to go to the Foundation of Santa Barbara City College and possibly obtain a waiver to use the college’s donated funds to cover the cost. Because it’s a hefty price tag, the proposal to obtain the four condos is still only in the initial phase. “The investor will still have to go through the approval and permit process before we will know if it is a real opportunity,” Sullivan said. When the four new condos are sold to the selected persons, all building costs financed by the college will be included in the final cost.

Like his original project, the developer is required to classify some as affordable housing units because as the layout exceeds the permitted number of houses. In order to be compliant with affordable housing regulations, the cost of a home must not exceed 30 percent of a household’s gross income, according to the City of Santa Barbara Web site. This fluctuates depending on the number of people living in a home.

City College employees will have to meet certain income requirements in order to apply because of the condo’s subsidized classifications. Applicants must spend no less than 28 percent and no more than 40 percent of their yearly income on housing expenses, according to the City of Santa Barbara website.

The application forms and contract have yet to be finalized, but will be very complex, Superintendent-President John Romo said. If someone has purchased one of the condos and eventually leaves the college, they must sell the home back to the college or to the next person in line.

The original set of the seven condos will be divvyed up and given to college employees in a lottery in January 2008 to college . At this time, it is undecided if and when the second set of four homes will be purchased and sold to City College faculty and staff.