Mitchell Park Place to Serve Residents with Developmental Disabilities
Demolition celebrated: “Before we can put something up, we’ve got to take something down.”
- A new 50-unit affordable housing development, Mitchell Park Place, will house lower-income individuals with a particular focus on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- AbilityPath will provide onsite support services to residents.
- Housing will be conveniently located near AbilityPath’s main Palo Alto campus on Middlefield Road as well as transit, shopping, schools, a library, and Mitchell Park.
SAN JOSE – Today, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, the City of Palo Alto, AbilityPath and Eden Housing began demolition efforts on Charleston Road in Palo Alto to make way for Mitchell Park Place, a new 50-unit affordable housing development designed to serve lower-income individuals, with a particular focus on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The housing development will be located at 525 East Charleston Road in Palo Alto, a County-owned property which is currently the site of a small, aged office building used by AbilityPath.
“Celebrating a demolition is a little unusual, but before we can put something up, we’ve got to take something down,” said Simitian, who proposed the project in 2020, as well as a larger County effort to help fund housing development serving individuals with developmental disabilities on a County-wide basis. Simitian made a point of noting how welcoming the neighborhood has been, “particularly folks in the Greenmeadow community. Even as neighbors shared concerns about development impacts, they have welcomed this inclusive housing development since day one.”
“Today’s demolition is the next step in creating something extraordinary, said Simitian. “We’re getting closer and closer to developing homes where folks can live safely and independently in their own community – with all the services they need to thrive.”
Mitchell Park Place is located on land owned by Santa Clara County. In 2020, Supervisor Simitian proposed the County pursue housing development options at the site focused on housing for people with developmental disabilities given the location’s proximity to AbilityPath and other services.
In 2021, the Board of Supervisors selected Eden Housing, a leading affordable housing nonprofit organization, as the developer. In 2022, the County’s Office of Supportive Housing, Eden Housing, and project architect Architects FORA conducted extensive community outreach and the City of Palo Alto granted land use entitlements. The demolition of the existing building on the site is the latest project milestone to make way for affordable housing for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“On behalf of my Council colleagues and the Palo Alto community, we look forward to welcoming new residents’ home here at Mitchell Park Place,” said Lydia Kou, Mayor of City of Palo Alto. “Building and developing housing must be intentional, delivering what the community needs, and I am very proud of our investment of $3 million to move this important affordable housing project forward. Thank you to our County partners for their continued leadership supporting affordable housing in our community.”
The property will feature 50 apartments with a mix of studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom floorplans. Half of the units will offer housing to individuals with developmental disabilities. All of the units will be affordable to households earning at or below 80% of the area median income. The new development community will be conveniently located near transit, shopping, schools, a park (which includes a Magical Bridge all-inclusive playground), and a library.
“The Mitchell Park Place project will help address the housing crisis for individuals with developmental disabilities and will also provide an inclusive community setting where people of all abilities can thrive,” said Bryan Neider, CEO of AbilityPath.
The ground level of the four-story building will include a property management office and program space for AbilityPath, a regional nonprofit that provides a full range of support services to individuals with developmental disabilities. AbilityPath will offer the following programs onsite:
- Living skills program that provides one-on-one coaching to help participants achieve their goals and to live more independently.
- Classes and activities that provide individuals with rich learning experiences to support health, recreation, vocational skill development, and independent living.
- Jarrett Family Computer & Media Arts Program trains people of all ability levels to access computers, assistive technology (adaptive tables, mice, and keyboards), use online tools in everyday living, and functional academics.
- Phil Egan Program for the Arts provides artists of all abilities and backgrounds access to the Bay Area art community by selling and exhibiting their work in public spaces, corporations, and art institutions.
“This is an exciting first step in the process of providing much needed affordable housing to individuals with developmental disabilities,” said Linda Mandolini, President and CEO of Eden Housing. “We’d like to thank Supervisor Simitian and the County for their support and vision of this project, as well as the City of Palo Alto and our partners, AbilityPath. We look forward to welcoming residents in 2025.”
Eden Housing is currently working to secure the final financing needed to bring the project to completion, which will include an application to the state for tax credits.
“I’ve spoken to so many families who’ve worried and wondered where their adult children can live independently as they get older. Michell Park Place is the answer to that question,” said Simitian.
“It’s a long haul, but this is how we build community; step by step,” said Simitian. “I look forward to seeing everyone back here to celebrate the project’s groundbreaking, and to the day we get to welcome residents to their new homes.”
For Mitchell Park Place housing development project updates and to join the interest list, visit edenhousing.org/properties/mitchell-park-place/.
Attached are a rendering of Mitchell Park Place and a photo from the demolition ceremony.
021523-MitchellParkPlaceDemoGroup (left to right): Kate Blessing-Kawamura, Associate Director of Real Estate Development, Eden Housing; Consuelo Hernandez, Director of Office of Supportive Housing, Santa Clara County; Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian; Andrea Osgood, Sr. VP of Real Estate Development, Eden Housing; Palo Alto City Councilmember Pat Burt; Palo Alto Mayor Lydia Kou; Gabi Dedek, Client, AbilityPath.
Additional renderings can be downloaded: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1xZ39w6sPAAPcTslthSJEprgX5GadcuYj?usp=share_link
S. Joseph Simitian
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, District Five
County Government Center, East Wing
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San Jose, California 95110
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