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Old Posted Jun 26, 2007, 8:02 PM
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wburg wburg is online now
Hindrance to Development
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 2,378
The City Council will vote on whether to approve a loan to AF Evans Development to purchase the Berry Hotel.

AF Evans is a developer of low-income and market-rate housing. Locally they run the Ping Yuen apartments (in the Chinatown on I Street) and also operate some historic SRO type properties including the Hotel Oakland.

The plan is to keep the units very low income and extremely low income, but to renovate and repair the structure of the hotel. New plumbing will be needed throughout the building, and kitchenettes will be added to each unit. The building will be reduced from 115 to 100 units, to make room for a number of larger wheelchair-accessible units. Because the city's current SRO ordinance requires replacement of any lost units, 15 units of the under-construction Globe Mills housing project (currently slated for part seniors, part market rate) will become VLI (very low income, <$25K/yr) instead. A case manager will provide supportive services for the residents with disabilities.

The current retail tenants will not be displaced, although personally I hope they get rid of the convenience store and make it back into a lobby/public space. Happily "the Big Kahuna" won't be going anywhere!

In my mind this is a big, big win. The building will be restored and protected (it's in awful shape now) and a professional management company and a decent building is really the main differences between an SRO that is a safe haven for disabled and seniors and one that is a drug-infested den. AF Evans has a good track record. Importantly, this renovation will mean that those housing units are still available.
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