Union Construction Crews Building Affordable Senior Apartments Near Lake Merritt
A new affordable senior housing community is under construction at 2nd Avenue and 15th Street in Oakland. General contractor James E. Roberts-Obayashi Corporation broke ground on the Lakeside Senior Apartments for Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) in May. Job Superintendent Don Ernst said the project is all-union and is on schedule to be completed by October, 2014. Crews recently completed a major concrete pour of the building’s lower level.
When completed, Lakeside Senior Apartments will offer 92-units of affordable housing for low-income seniors, bringing much-needed affordable housing to an area near public transit connections, downtown amenities, and a view of Lake Merritt. The new building is going up on the site of an existing parking lot of the Rose of Sharon Senior Homes in Oakland. The first floor of the 108,380 sq. ft. five story building will be reinforced concrete with the top four floors wood frame construction. It is designed by architect David Baker & Partners, featuring a mid-size building with three separate lobbies, stoop units that connect directly to the surrounding sidewalks, private courtyards, and places for seniors to gather outside of their units.
The one-bedroom apartments will be affordable to seniors with income levels of 30-50 percent of the Area median Income. The new community will also provide homes for homeless seniors and seniors with special needs and will offer van transport services to residents. SAHA and St. Mary’s Senior Center will provide services for the residents, including counseling and activities to help seniors avoid isolation.
Satellite Affordable Housing Associates formed in January 2013 through a merger of Satellite Housing Inc. and Affordable Housing Associates. Affordable Housing Associates was the developer of the Merritt Crossing Senior Apartments at Oak and 6th Street in Oakland, which was completed last year by union contractor Nibbi Brothers. SAHA’s Project Manager Cindy Heavens said the agency didn’t require that contractors were union but that, “We recognize that there is a benefit in using skilled union labor.” She said the contractor was chosen based on its bid as well as its experience building affordable housing. “It’s not just the cost but the condition of the contractor and its ability to deliver the project on time, which for affordable housing is a big deal,” she said.
The $33.5 million project is funded through loans from Wells Fargo, California Reinvestment Co., Multifamily Housing Program, and the Oakland Housing Authority.
Roberts-Obayashi’s Superintendent Don Ernst said the project would be LEED certified and feature solar hot water and energy efficient HVAC systems. The project also earns points towards LEED certification by being close to public transit.
Ernst said he is a former union carpenter from Alaska and was proud that the project was providing good union jobs as well as creating affordable housing for seniors. Major subcontractors include Peck and Hiller for the structural concrete, Emeryville–based Paul’s Plumbing, and Dawson Electric.
Crews from Peck and Hiller recently completed a major concrete pour of the Lakeside Senior Apartments’ lower level.