February 18, 2014

Bridge Housing kicks off Oakland project near Lake Merritt

Feb 18, 2014, 1:04pm PST
Affordable-housing developer Bridge Housing started construction on AvéVista, a 68-unit apartment building at 460 Grand Ave. in Oakland — one of several projects the developer expects to break ground on this year.

AvéVista, a partnership with the Oakland Housing Authority, will replace a surface parking lot and target families earning Reuben Foster Authentic Jersey between 30 and 60 percent of the Reuben Foster Womens Jersey area median income.

“It’s going to be a super location, nice design and compatible with the neighborhood,” said Cynthia Parker, executive director of Bridge Housing.
AvéVista was designed by TWM Architects + Planners and is being built by J.H. Fitzmaurice Inc.
Parker said the development, several years in the making, comes at time when housing costs have been rising in Oakland.

Even though the Bay Area housing market has improved substantially since the recession, Bridge and other nonprofit developers see huge demand for affordable housing.
“We’ve been incredibly busy,” Parker said. “We have 1,800 units under construction or starting this year. We’ve got quite a big pipeline and we’re pushing that through.”
In Oakland, Bridge started construction on Terraza Palmera, a 62-unit project, and Mural, a 90-unit project that is the first residential component of the MacArthur BART transit village. Bridge is the master developer of the transit village and is also overseeing construction of a parking garage to replace surface parking, infrastructure and finding developers for future market-rate components.

The firm recently completed the 120-unit Rene Cazenave Apartments and 60-unit Reuben Foster Youth Jersey 474 Natoma, both in San Francisco, and plans to start a 115-unit project in San Leandro, a 113-unit project in the Transbay redevelopment in San Francisco and a 57-unit project in Napa. The firm has hundreds more units in development outside the Bay Area.
“Affordable development is more challenging without redevelopment,” Parker said referring to a former funding mechanism that allowed cities to keep tax increments and borrow against blighted properties that were redeveloped. “ “Most of the localities have small amounts of funding. That’s going to be more and more challenging as time goes on.”

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“This project demonstrates the tenacity and creativity that drives Oaklanders to find solutions to community needs through partnerships,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “Led by the community for the community, it embodies the ‘Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors’ theme of our winning TCC grant proposal that will help enact lasting transformation in East Oakland over the next few years.”

Planning for this project first began over a decade ago under the leadership of Acts Community Development Corporation, founded by Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church to address his congregants’ need for affordable housing. Since that time, an extensive public-private partnership has grown to include Related California, the City of Oakland, California’s Strategic Growth Council (through the Transformative Climate Communities Grant), the California Department of Conservation, the Oakland Housing Authority, U.S. Bank and Citibank.

“After more than a decade of hard work, I am thrilled to break ground on this transformative project that will bring much needed affordable housing and health care resources to District 7,” said Oakland City Councilmember Treva Reid. “Gratitude to City staff and our community partners for advancing this innovative development, which will help address long-term disparities in East Oakland.”

This multi-faceted project will serve as a community hub of people, housing, and services, and will meet the diverse needs of Oakland families with an emphasis on homeless housing. The project will bring 55 stable units of rental housing to deep East Oakland to long-standing residents earning 20-50% of the Area Median Income (AMI) with a 25% set aside for homeless households earning 20-30% of the AMI.

As part of the $28.2 million “Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors” initiative, 95th & International is supported by California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities Program with funds from California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities.

The Initiative envisions an East Oakland with healthy surroundings, safe and accessible transportation, and thriving arts and culture that builds community wealth and ensures housing is a human right for neighborhood residents. The other projects include the San Leandro Creek Urban Greenway led by East Bay Regional Parks District, Community Greening by the Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation, Planting Justice Aquaponics Farm and Food Hub, Higher Ground & Scraper Bike Team Bike Share and Youth Development. The projects are guided by the principles of community engagement, displacement avoidance, workforce development and climate resiliency throughout the four-year implementation period and will be stewarded by a stakeholder committee, comprised of the project co-applicants, community organizations and area residents. The Black Cultural Zone will lead business and community engagement, while the East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative will lead the displacement avoidance work by connecting East Oakland residents with programs to halt displacement, build community wealth, and produce Additional Dwelling Units.

“Congratulations to Related California, Acts Community Development Corporation, the City of Oakland, and all the partners of this innovative private-public collaboration making the groundbreaking possible,” said Lynn von Koch-Liebert, Executive Director of the California Strategic Growth Council. “We are inspired by the commitment to fully embrace the ‘Better Neighborhoods, Same Neighbors’ vision for a healthy and resilient community by partnering with La Clínica to include a health clinic in the development for the community. This project is a great example of how the Transformative Climate Communities project can support inclusive economic development and build resilient communities.”

This is the latest affordable housing development to break ground in the City of Oakland, one of an extensive list of projects currently in the City’s development pipeline. This includes 57 new construction, rehabilitation, and preservation projects totaling more than 3,000 units of low-income affordable housing, comprising 30 new construction projects; 16 acquisition conversion projects; 10 preservation rehabilitation projects; and 1 transitional housing project. Since 2019, the City has completed eight newly constructed housing projects that have delivered more than 600 new affordable units; four acquisition-conversion projects that have converted over 40 market-rate units to affordable units; and two preservation-rehabilitation projects that have preserved more than 140 units.

“As long-term property owners, these types of longstanding relationships and public-private partnerships are critical to our success, and a hallmark philosophy as a company,” said Bill Witte, Chairman and CEO of Related California. “Our close partnership with the City of Oakland, the Strategic Growth Council, and Acts Full Gospel Church has resulted in the addition of affordable housing for residents along the International Corridor, and – equally important – brings affordable health care to the community. We truly appreciate all of our partners, who together helped make this success possible.”

About Acts Community Development

Founded by Acts Full Gospel Church Bishop Bob Jackson in 2002, Acts Community Development Corporation’s primary objectives are to provide business development and affordable housing in East Oakland. Since its inception, Acts has developed and founded several businesses, affordable housing developments, and community outreach programs, including Acts Cyrene Apartments at 9400 International Blvd, Acts Christian Academy, and Men of Valor Academy.

About La Clínica de La Raza

La Clínica de La Raza, Inc., a federally qualified health center, is headquartered in Oakland. La Clínica is the largest community-based primary health care center in the San Francisco Bay Area, and one of the largest community health centers in the State of California. About 58% of La Clínica’s total patients are women and more than 95% of total patients are low income. Jane Garcia started La Clínica as an intern in 1980 and became CEO in 1982. Under her leadership, La Clínica has grown from a $2 million project to a $110 million organization, employing 1,200 people.