George Lucas wants to build affordable housing in wealthy suburb
By Katie Lobosco @KatieLobosco
The new ‘Star Wars’ teaser is here
George Lucas wants to build affordable housing for 224 families in wealthy Marin County, California.
The project is proposed for the same spot where the Star Wars creator once wanted to build a new production studio. He withdrew that plan in 2012 after area residents voiced strong opposition.
Lucas will finance 100% of the project, which is expected to cost more than $150 million, said his attorney Gary Giacomini.
While the area is home to plenty of millionaires, the filmmaker wants to provide housing for the local workforce, like teachers and police officers. The project won’t use any federal or state funding, Giacomini said.
As proposed, 120 units will be reserved for people whose income falls between $65,700 and $101,400 a year, according to PEP Housing, a local non-profit group. The county’s median household income is $90,000 according to the Census Bureau.
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The other 104 units will be go to senior citizens.
The project will also include a community center, a micro-farm, orchards and a barn.
Lucas is funding the project, but he’ll still have to get building and construction permits from the county. An application was submitted Wednesday and construction isn’t expected to start until at after 2018, Giacomini said.
The housing will be situated just west of Lucas’s famous Skywalker Ranch, where the soundtrack for Jurassic Park was scored, about 40 minutes north of San Francisco.
A 224-unit project is significant for the area, where people have previously fought affordable housing projects “tooth and nail,” said Giacomini, who is also a former member of the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
The average home price in Marin County is nearly $1 million.