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Real Estate project seeks to have social impact in Salinas

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SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV)  A new Salinas project will offer new affordable housing opportunities and commercial space for entrepreneurs.

The project is part of a collaboration between developers and community organizations that hope to meet the needs of the community and create economic independence.

"It would be good for the community that lives bunched up,” said Ramirez. 

Norma Ramirez describes part of the East Market Street area in Salinas.  Ramirez is the manager of a restaurant located a few steps from the land where a developer and several organizations plan to build a complex that could revitalize East Salinas.

"A little traffic, a lot of homeless is in this area, and at night it gets a little ugly because we see prostitution here in front," said Ramirez. 

The project will be composed of 84 homes and 13 of them are reserved for low-income tenants. However, Ramirez and her neighbors still find themselves with some concerns.

"It would bring more traffic and overpopulate the place that is already overcrowded," said Ramirez. 

President of New Way Homes, Sibley Simon is in charge of this new project. It will also have a kitchen incubator, where local employees will be able to receive training, expanded technical assistance, and expand their food business all while meeting licensing requirements, he said.

In addition, they have a women's business center which particularly helps women start and get the advice they need and the technical support they need to start businesses, he said. 

Other local organizations such as building healthy communities also support the project and are reaching out to the community to learn about their needs and to make sure the project addresses them.

“California has an incredible shortage of housing and a housing affordability crisis,” he said. “So really every major problem that we suffer is made worse by this housing shortage. Whether it’s health care and health outcomes, traffic and commuting, and climate change.  But first and foremost the economic well-being of the people and families in our community.”

Each unit is expected to cost between  $400,000 to $500,000.

“I don’t think we could build this project today because were seeing construction costs that are 60% higher than before the pandemic,” said Simon.

The Project is currently in the planning stage and is expected to be completed within the next three years.

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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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