OAKLAND, CA-Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente are standing behind a $37.4 housing project, despite arguments from the public over the cost of the development.

Forest City Enterprises has proposed a 770-unit apartment complex in the city’s uptown area, which will cost the city approximately $25.1 million. Opponents of the project, including affordable housing advocates, argue that these figures are inaccurate. They believe city taxpayers will ultimately pay about $62.5 million for the project.

According to city officials, the $37.4 million difference consists of funds Oakland would normally pay for an affordable housing project, in addition to projected repayments from Forest City once the final deal is approved.

Regardless, this project would demand the largest city subsidy in Oakland’s history for a housing development. Opponents say the result will be little money left for the Oakland Redevelopment Agency to invest in future projects.

The project would be built on a 12.5-acre site between 18th and 20th streets bordered by Telegraph and San Pablo avenues. The City Council is expected to approve the proposal at its next meeting. A final vote on the project is not expected to occur until next year. The developer simply wants the early green light before starting an environmental impact report.

The project’s site recently attracted another development idea–a new Oakland A’s ballpark. However, Forest City won the exclusive negotiating rights to the property this summer, stopping the ballpark plans.

Brown has expressed strong support for the Forest City proposal, which he says will revitalize the underdeveloped area. The project also is a major park of his 10K initiative, which aims to bring 10,000 new residents to the area.

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