DUBLIN -- A Bay Area affordable housing organization and Dublin city leaders are planning to roll out more than a welcome mat for returning veterans.
Eden Housing is expected to unveil plans at Tuesday's Dublin City Council meeting for the Bay Area's first affordable housing development specifically geared toward veterans.
The Kingsmill Group, a private residential development company, seeks approval to develop about six acres in downtown Dublin with 310 apartment units and 17,000 square feet of retail space on a former car dealership site at Dublin Boulevard and Golden Gate Drive.
Kingsmill would transfer ownership of 1.37 acres of the site -- an area larger than a football field -- to Eden Housing to develop and build a 76-unit affordable apartment complex of studio to three bedrooms for veterans.
"This is a landmark project for other communities to emulate," said Mike Conklin, CEO of Sentinels of Freedom, a San Ramon-based nonprofit which finds jobs, housing and mentoring for severely wounded veterans. "There is so much effort to support veterans, but a lot of it is not tangible. This a tangible start and there is room for this all over."
The Sentinels of Freedom has helped 112 wounded veterans nationwide since 2003. The city and Eden Housing consulted with Conklin about the development.
Conklin said between 20,000 and 40,000 veterans are expected to return to California from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the next two years, and housing is a critical component in helping veterans transition back to civilian life.
"The location (of the development) couldn't be better because its right on the BART line," said Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti. "We owe our veterans so much, and this is a small token to say thank you."
In addition to the housing, Eden Housing will provide a variety of services, from youth programs to educational assistance, at the development that are similar to those at its 88 other properties throughout the Bay Area, said Faye Blackman, senior project developer for Eden Housing.
"It is not enough to house them," Blackman said. "We have to make sure we adequately provide them with services. We are hoping that we could try and get a preference for veterans and set aside some for special-needs veterans and the rest to families of veterans."
The project is still in early planning and Eden Housing needs to secure an estimated $19 million to $20 million in funding for the development, Blackman said.
The Dublin council meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday with budget discussion in the council chambers, at 100 Civic Plaza in Dublin.
Contact Robert Jordan at 925-847-2184. Follow him at Twitter.com/robjordan127.