By JEFF CLEMETSON | Mission Times Courier
At its Oct. 14 meeting, the Navajo Community Planners, Inc. (NCPI) voted to approve an affordable housing project proposed for the a site along Navajo Road currently occupied by Nicolosi’s Italian Restaurant.
The project by Community Housing Works (CHW) is a four-story elevator building with the following amenities:
- 45 units with private balconies – 21 one-bedroom units; 12 two-bedroom units; and 12 three-bedroom units
- 59 parking spaces
- Multipurpose community room with kitchen
- Computer lab
- Management leasing office
- Outdoor amenity space including community garden and tot-lot
- Security lighting camera system throughout property.
At the informational presentation of the project to the NCPI board on Sept. 9, some nearby residents raised concerns about safety and crime.
CHW representatives addressed those issues at the October meeting in a presentation that showed where lights and cameras will be located on the site. Other concerns raised by residents included line of sight issues at the exit of the proposed apartment complex onto Navajo Road and the safety of children using a crosswalk across Navajo Road to nearby schools. CHW representatives said they will look into the sight issues and pointed out that there are already students who use the crosswalk every morning without incident.
At the October meeting, there were also some residents who voiced support for the project, citing the need for affordable units in the area and also praising the design as consistent with other housing complexes adjacent to the proposed project.
According to CHW, construction could start as early as 2021 if the city planning department approves the project and funding is secured. That timeline is disputed by Nicolosi’s owner Ron Burner who in an email to the Mission Times Courier said the restaurant has a lease to operate at the 7005 Navajo Road site that prevents CHW from breaking ground until it is expired.
“We have two years left on our lease, so the absolute earliest they are going to break ground would be September 2022 — if not longer,” Burner stated.
However, that would depend on how soon Nicolosi’s finds a new location.
“Nicolosi’s will begin a search for a new property in the area probably next summer and we will make a move,” Burner said. “I guess they could break ground that early if a lot of things fall into place.”
Burner added that he plans on keeping Nicolosi’s local to the Navajo community and that his eventual goal is to keep his and his wife’s “family tradition going through our kids.”
“We are so thankful to all our neighbors and loyal customers for their support over the years and especially during these trying times,” he added.
— Reach Jeff Clemetson at email@example.com.