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Proposed Development Would Bring Senior Housing to Benicia Arsenal

The development is proposed for area where homes were once envisioned in the Benicia Arsenal.

An assisted living facility in the Historic Benicia Arsenal will be the subject of a joint workshop between the Benicia Planning Commission and the Historic Preservation Review Commission on Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. in the City Council chambers.

The proposed project consists of two buildings.  One is an assisted living facility with 188 units ranging from studios to two-bedroom apartments.  The assisted living facility would be housed in a two- and three-story building.

The second building is a Memory Care facility and would consist of 85 rental units.  The project is in the early stages of development.  The workshop will give the developers an opportunity to hear concerns of businesses in the area, and citizens interested in the Arsenal. 

Bill Simpkins, owner of Simpkins Auto Care Center is one of those with concerns because the project is across the street and downwind from his business.  “I think most people understand that separation of commercial and residential is a must,” said Simpkins.  “Would you want my repair shop next to your house?”

Steve Gizzi, of the law firm Gizzi and Reep, who is representing the developers noted that residents would be renters, not owners.  “It’s very nice because it’s got the units for people to rent,” said Gizzi.  “They aren’t buying, so if they are unhappy with the noise they can go somewhere else.”

Attorney Dana Dean, who represents Amports and was speaking on the company’s behalf, wasn’t as upbeat about the residential aspect of the project.  “It has long been recognized in the City of Benicia that there are appropriate places for residential uses and inappropriate places,” said Dean.

According to Gizzi, his clients Rick Beasley and Nick Huettenhain will present their project to the commissioners but that they are there mostly to listen to the concerns of citizens.

“I think it has the potential to be a compatible use,” said Gizzi.  “There is definitely a strong need for this type of facility in Benicia.”

“We’re just at the infancy of the project,” said Dean.  “I can’t say our concerns can’t be resolved but I can say we have concerns.  We are taking this very seriously.

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If there’s something in this article you think should be corrected, or if something else is amiss, call editor JB Davis at 707-628-0051 or email him at benicia@patch.com.

JB Davis September 10, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Paul, This is a private developer who has some experience building assisted care facilities. So far there have been no requests for tax breaks to make this affordable housing. So, to be clear, as presented the project is for profit and is not tax-payer funded.
T. Gunter September 10, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Scott, I was not using anything as an argument, nor was my comment flawed. It was actually quite realistic. Nonetheless, it was merely an aside an earlier comment. Also as an aside, I've have visited quite a few assisted living/elderly care facilities with memory gardens as part of my occupation. From having seen these operations, I can opine that I really don't think that this area in the arsenal is an ideal location for this type of facility. My opinion is mainly based on traffic patterns and the inconvenience of the location.
Riley Willerson September 10, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Robert, I actually thought you intentionally typed "liberalos" I like the word, a Morman, sought after by woman due to less than a man with no courage to stand up!! Or just another typeo
Karl Voigt September 12, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Old, I think you've struck the nail upon it's head.
Scott Burford September 12, 2012 at 09:56 PM
Old Dog, can you let me in on what you know about these developers? You made some references, but since I am not familiar with what qualifies them as G-O-B and Stucco-it-over boys....my curiosity is raised. Thanks!

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