Redevelopment take means $5.3 million loss for Hayward

Earlier this week, a judge upheld the state’s takeaway of local redevelopment dollars. As reported in today’s regional story, that means $5.3 million for Hayward. Here’s more information that didn’t make it into the story because of space constraints:

In Hayward, where the two-year grab will total about $5.3 million, Redevelopment Director Maret Bartlett said projects will be slowed down but not derailed.

That means less money for key projects such as the South Hayward BART redevelopment area, City Center and downtown retail attraction program. For example, the city is in the process of buying land along Mission Boulevard that will be then redeveloped.

“We were hoping to assemble the block on the west side of Mission between Pinedale and Sycamore,” she said. “We’ve acquired half the block but not as much as we’d like, and we can’t do it now.”

The blow was lessened because the redevelopment agency borrowed much of the lost money from its affordable housing fund, which must be paid back in five years.

Bartlett said that’s about how long she expects it to take to recuperate from the loss.

She added that it is frustrating that the money is being taken for use in schools because the city was already partnering with the school district on projects, and used redevelopment money for the creation of the new Burbank Elementary School.

“I think Hayward has been trying to do the right thing by the school district here,” she said. “We contributed a lot of redevelopment money to build a new school, and (the school district) has been a great partner. I just think it’s sad.”

Barlett added that it’s especially tough because with property values dropping, the tax increment going into the redevelopment fund is lower than it has been in prior years. About 17 percent lower.

“That’s huge,” she said. “And it’s expected to be down again this year.”

As a side note, the property acquisition for the downtown loop project will not be affected because those are not gained through redevelopment funds but rather through Measure B transportation funds.

Eric Kurhi