Filmmaker George Lucas’ latest blockbuster–a plan to build affordable housing in Northern California’s pricey Marin County–moved another step forward.
The Marin Community Foundation has issued a request for qualifications from interested developers.
Due Jan. 18, 2013, the request “seeks statements of experience and capacity from those respondents with a substantial record of success in developing affordable housing, and who have an interest in potentially submitting a project proposal for Grady Ranch.”
While the initial concepts cited seniors housing, the project scope is open to ideas for a creative mix of individual and family units. The total number of units is also open although it is noted that preliminary inquiries with the county indicate that the project may be eligible in the 200- to 300-unit range, according to the Foundation, which is facilitating the project.
Earlier this year, Lucas, the man behind “Star Wars,” pulled the plug on building a film production studio on the 236-acre tract and floated the possibility of developing affordable housing on Grady Ranch.
Lucas dropped his initial plans, citing a long battle with neighbors.
While some have seen his call for affordable housing as a shot at the protesting neighbors, the idea is advancing.
Thomas Peters, president and CEO of the Foundation, told Affordable Housing Finance in May that he hoped to move quickly. Lucas is providing access to extensive engineering studies done on the land. “It’s not an insignificant gift,” he said, adding that the Foundation wants developers to be able to use those reports while the data is still current.
Lucas recently made news by agreeing to sell his Lucasfilm empire to Disney for $4 billion. However, his Marin property was not part of the deal.
Affordable housing developers can find the request for qualifications at www.marincf.org.