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November 5, 2008 > Housing community opens in the historic heart of Milpitas

Housing community opens in the historic heart of Milpitas

Submitted By Beth Fraker

The City of Milpitas celebrated the grand opening of DeVries Place Senior Apartments, developed by Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition. The ceremony happened at 163 N. Main Street, Milpitas, on October 29.

Devries Place provides 103 rental apartment homes for seniors age 62+ earning between $18,575 and $33,960 annually (25 - 40 percent of Area Median Income for one or two person households).

The property includes a newly constructed 4-story building as well as a rehabilitated historic house. Built in 1915, the Dr. Smith-DeVries House was the family home and office of Rensselaer Smith, the second doctor to reside in Milpitas. The renovated house includes community rooms, three one-bedroom apartments and an architecturally restored dining room available for use by the City of Milpitas and local civic organizations. The main building has 100 apartments, a fitness center, theater room, computer room and a rooftop patio with beautiful views of the East Bay hills.

"I am excited to celebrate the completion of this community," said Mayor Jose Esteves. "Working in partnership with Mid-Peninsula Housing, we have provided brand new, affordable homes to over 150 senior residents while preserving the rich local history found on Main Street in Milpitas. DeVries Place represents a wonderful bridge between our city's past and its future."

"By integrating one of the oldest buildings in Milpitas within a new, high-density community, the city is able to grow while still maintaining the continuity and historic feel of its city center," said Matthew O. Franklin, President of Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition. "We recognize that this is a crucial balance and Mid-Pen is honored to have partnered with the City of Milpitas on this important project."

DeVries Place is one component of the Milpitas Redevelopment Agency's revitalization strategy. The plan also includes the expansion and modernization of the historic central library and the construction of a new medical center, both of which are located on the same block as DeVries, providing a valuable resource and easy access for the senior residents.

Don Dumanowski, a DeVries Place resident, is grateful for his new home. "Last year, I needed to have my leg amputated and the place where I'd lived was run down and not wheel-chair accessible. It was miserable," said Don, a Navy veteran and resident of Milpitas for nearly 20 years. "Now I have a beautiful home with easy access to public transportation. And when the medical center is completed next door, I can get to my appointments in minutes!"

DeVries Place incorporates many environmentally-friendly features. Solar panels provide 80 percent of the energy required for the common areas; resident units are equipped with energy and water-efficient fixtures and appliances; and sustainable building materials were used in construction.

Financing for the $32.1 million dollar project was provided through the City of Milpitas Redevelopment Agency, the County of Santa Clara, the Housing Trust Fund of Santa Clara, US Bank, National Equity Fund, KB Home, Sobrato Affordable Housing Fund and Opportunity Fund. HKIT Architects designed the main building, Rothschild Schwartz Architects designed the Dr. Smith-DeVries House renovation, and J.H. Fitzmaurice Inc. was the contractor. For more information visit:

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