AHA Board of Commissioners Chair Art Kurrasch received the NAHRO Agency Award of Excellence for the Park Alameda Redevelopment
The once blighted 40-year old Islander Motel is now Park Alameda, a stunning GreenPoint-rated development providing 62 new units of permanent workforce housing. The project represents an excellent model of re-use of an existing building to help bring needed affordable housing to the City of Alameda’s downtown and assist in its ongoing revitalization.
Park Alameda serves one- and two-person households with incomes from 20% to 50% of Area Median Income. A transit-oriented development, the property is ideally located near vibrant Park Street and puts households within immediate access to local transit, jobs, retail, and service amenities.
At the time of acquisition, the building formerly known as the Islander Motel, built in 1971, was in poor condition and was a significant source of blight and crime. In 2010 alone, the Islander had nearly 200 police calls and 10 felony arrests. The configuration of the building with an unsecured ground floor parking garage and the front desk on the second floor left the structure without secured access or monitoring. Originally, the property was configured as a 69 unit motel, with seven illegally configured units taken out of a former garage area and no common areas. Because of the bad reputation of the property and its unsightly condition, there was tremendous community support for this project.
The 62 unit main building was renovated and the seven substandard units in the parking lot were demolished. The configuration of the 62 units in the main building, 61 studio units and 1 two-bedroom manager’s unit was maintained. Given its prominent corner location, the Islander Motel presented a unique opportunity to make an architectural statement that supports Alameda’s active downtown commercial area. The architect used a contemporary yet context sensitive design vocabulary and material palette to revitalize the Islander building and activate the area. While improving the façade along Central Avenue was an important component of this undertaking, re-imaging the “face” of the building along Park Avenue was even more critical. To tackle this challenge, they designed a new entrance and property management and services office at the street level along Park Avenue, with a community room, laundry facility and open space behind. This new configuration allowed the building to be fully secured.
The renovation took a comprehensive approach, including removing and replacing of the building skin, replacing the circulation systems and upgrading the unit finishes. All critical building systems were added or replaced: fire sprinklers throughout the building; a new, larger elevator; replacing the boilers and adding solar hot water heaters; all new windows; separate electrical meters for each unit; replacing the heating units in all units; and completely replacing all plumbing and drain lines in the building.
The rehabilitation targeted a score of 106 under the Build It Green Multifamily Rehabilitation program, but was able to achieve a score of 114. Green systems that were implemented at the site include solar thermal preheat for domestic hot water and radiant hydronic heating in the units, no VOC paints and adhesives, natural linoleum flooring, and turning a surface parking lot into a drought tolerant native plan garden area. The rehabilitation and renovation of the project was completed in record time, exactly one year from the day the project was awarded to the developer, RCD, the work was complete and on budget.
Today, the Park Alameda Apartments provides an attractive, secure, and conveniently located place to live in the vibrant City of Alameda. The new community room with kitchen and the adjacent outdoor open spaces with inviting plantings and furnishings create gathering spaces for the residents all within the secure confines of the property. The newly refurbished units, with enlarged windows on the south side and sliding glass doors with French balconies on the north side are filled with natural light. The all new kitchens and baths, flooring and heating systems make this a virtually new construction building. The long waiting list attests to the desirability of the units and that many of the people in the building and on the waiting list are from the immediate community show that the Park Alameda is now an important amenity of the neighborhood.
The project included a complete façade and site redesign, an overhaul of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and the construction of two new buildings for a community room and manager’s office. The building is located within walking distance of several bus lines. Our renovation concept re-used the existing structure and circulation elements. Durable low emitting products were selected such as natural linoleum flooring in all of the corridors made from rapidly renewable sources, recycled and recyclable Cradle to Cradle carpet, cabinets made with no added formaldehyde, low voc paint. In addition we made key changes to the existing building witch allowed us to eliminate the need for a cooling system. These changes include high performance windows and sun shading working to reduce solar heat gain. The building systems design incorporates solar thermal system to pre-heat water to reduce natural gas usage. All landscaping was carefully chosen to meet drought tolerant requirements and reduce the amount of water used.
A new main entrance, and two new buildings housing a manager’s office and community room office were designed to mediate the scale between the existing building and adjacent residential and down town areas, and to provide a much needed welcoming entry. The new buildings also frame a new a central courtyard and community garden captured from a previously non-descript parking lot and creates a “backyard” feel to fit in with the residential neighborhood. Vibrant colors and materials transformed the existing building into a new downtown landmark. Metal sun shades, guardrails, sculptural metal bays and translucent siding at the exterior stair break up the massing of the monolithic building volume and enliven street-scape.
Children of the World Reading Room at Esperanza
Tuesdays from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
(More open times will be added)
1905 Third Street, Alameda
The Housing Authority of the City of Alameda is proud to announce the grand opening of the “Children of the World Reading Room” at the Esperanza Family Housing Complex. The Housing Authority will be participating in the nationwide Campaign for Grade Level Reading. This reading room is a step towards joining the national campaign by making books accessible to low-income children. We are excited to offer the opportunity for children of all ages and their parents to increase the reading proficiency and literary comprehension skills of this diverse population of youth at its housing complex.
here for full press release
HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF ALAMEDA
ANNOUNCES CLOSING OF PROJECT-BASED VOUCHER UNITS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES AT JACK CAPON VILLA.
The Housing Authority of the City of Alameda (AHA) has closed the waiting list for Jack Capon Villa effective 5:00 p.m. Friday September 6, 2013 due to receiving a sufficient number of pre-applications.
Protect yourself from scams!
We have been advised by another Housing Authority in California that a business by the name of "Home Sweet Home Rentals" is charging Housing Choice Voucher participants looking for apartments/homes $150 for listings of properties and landlords that accept "Section 8". They have heard from participants who have paid money to this service that landlords are not even aware their units are being listed, so both the landlords and participants are being taken advantage of. Participants should not be getting charged for listings of homes/apartments when resources are free online—if someone tries to charge you for services be careful, get receipts, and report fraudulent activity by calling our Director of Rental Assistance, Leslie Gleason, at (510) 747-4312.
PHA 5-YEAR AND ANNUAL PLAN
NOTICE REGARDING HCVP PORTABILITY
Please be advised that effective
For questions or additional information,
please contact Sherri Shefik, Housing Specialist III at
March 7, 2012