The Arbors

The Arbors, a 162-unit apartment property in Livermore, will become a rent-restricted community for middle-income households earning no more than 120% of the Alameda County median income.

The Catalyst Housing Group, in partnership with the California Community Housing Agency, announced this week that it had acquired the Pacific Avenue apartment complex for $49 million. Catalyst said it would invest another $5 million to upgrades the units, exterior, and common areas.

Based on a median Alameda County income of $75,000, the 1- and 2-bedroom apartments would be available to families making about $90,000 a year or less. Rent would be restricted to 30% of monthly income.

“The Arbors is what most in the apartment industry would call a value-add investment opportunity, which often results in significantly higher rents and displacement of the existing tenant population,” said Jordan Moss, the housing group founder. “Our unique partnership with CalCHA protects existing tenants from the threat of displacement, provides our public partners with an immediate supply of desperately-needed middle-income housing, and guarantees the future affordability of that housing by placing palatable caps on future rental increases.”

Catalyst also plans to provide discounted rental rates to local public-school teachers through its nonprofit arm, the Essential Housing Fund.

Originally developed in 1985 as a market-rate rental community, a portion of The Arbors had been restricted to low-income households in 2002. However, those rental-rate covenants expired in 2012 and the apartments reverted to a fully market-rate property.

Livermore Mayor John Marchand said he was “thrilled that the much-needed affordability that The Arbors once provided will not only be restored, but will be expanded such that 100% of the property will perpetually serve our essential middle-income households.”

Since launching their middle-income housing partnership in 2019, Catalyst and CalCHA have acquired more than $550 million in multifamily rental communities throughout Northern California, all of which were converted to rent-restricted communities serving middle-income households.