A major apartment project above North Tongue Point is getting some help from the city.
The Astoria City Council unanimously approved a $130,000 low-interest, 10-year loan to developer Cary Johnson’s company Monday night. The loan will help the developers construct the off-site sewer improvements and water infrastructure necessary to move the 22-lot Eagle Point subdivision forward.
Mayor Bruce Jones said the loan received his full support. One of the City Council’s goals for the next two years is to help efforts to increase the city’s housing supply.
“This is exactly what this does,” he said.
The subdivision could add as many as 120 to 150 apartments to the city’s stock.
The sewer and water lines required for the project will serve the subdivision’s lots and also be available to other users in the Tongue Point area, where there is the potential for future housing development.
The loan money comes from the city’s Dairy Queen Fund, a revolving loan fund intended for business development.
“This is exactly the sort of thing when people are asking the city, ‘What can (the City Council) do about the difficulty in housing in the city?’” City Councilor Tom Brownson said.
One example is how the city worked with Innovative Housing to support the Portland nonprofit’s efforts to buy the former Waldorf Hotel next door to City Hall and turn it into affordable housing.
Another way the city can help is to loan money. “We’re helping the developer move forward,” Brownson said. “… So we’re going to provide market-rate housing because we need housing in all levels.”