HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- ABC7 News is committed to Building a Better Bay Area and that includes building more affordable housing. One such effort is underway in Hayward, at the site of the old Mervyn's store, demolished back in 2017, years after it went out of business.
For some time now the Hayward lot has sat empty and was an invitation for crime according to the developer.
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"It sat vacant for well over 10 years it became an eyesore and a blight on the community of Hayward," said Scott Athearn who is a Partner with Dollinger Properties.
In 2008 Mervyn's shut down after nearly 60 years in business. Crews demolished the property in 2017.
"Became a homeless encampment, the city police, they were responding to calls in the neighborhoods around here two and three calls a week," said Athearn.
Developer Dollinger Properties bought the property about four and a half years ago with a vision in mind.
"We're building 474 apartments above 82,000 square feet of retail," said Athearn.
Athearn says the future of Hayward will be called "Lincoln Landing."
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The groundbreaking is scheduled for Monday with the property projected to open in two and a half years.
"Our entire site will be affordable is what we say compared to the Peninsula," said Athearn.
Hayward residents say they're thrilled.
"I think it's just important that we're developing more and more housing for the growing population in the Bay Area," said Benjamin Blanton.
Derrick Broadway is especially excited. He recently moved from North Carolina to be closer to his daughter Jamaica.
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"Hayward is lovely I love it and I wish I would have come out here 10 years ago but it's just so expensive you know," said Broadway.
A change a long time in the making and one that people who live nearby say can't come soon enough.
Check out more stories and videos about Building a Better Bay Area.
Hayward affordable housing to break ground at site of former Mervyn's
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