An 85-year-old Sacramento Hotel Finds New Life as Affordable Housing for Local Residents

Preservation at the Forefront

Although not currently on the National Register of Historic Places, the vintage hotel is recognized as a historically significant building and has maintained its historic marquees, signage, awnings, window size and location, and roof details.

Bracing strengthens the structure so it complies with seismic code.

Bracing strengthens the structure so it complies with seismic code.

Preserving the structure conserved resources, reduced stress on infrastructure and kept refuse out of landfills. All of that contributed to the City Council’s decision to reuse the building in accordance with the city’s 2006 housing ordinance that includes a “No Net Loss” policy, requiring that 712 single-room-occupancy units downtown be retained. The Studios at Hotel Berry accounts for 105 of them.

Jamboree Housing, long committed to sustainability, continued its mission with The Studios at Hotel Berry. The facility includes water-saving fixtures in kitchens and bathrooms, CRI Green Label carpeting, and low-VOC interior paint and adhesives. Reduced energy use exceeds California’s Title 24 energy-efficiency standards by more than 15 percent.

The property’s downtown location makes it a viable transit-oriented development; the building is in walking distance of public transportation, such as light rail, bus lines and an Amtrak rail station.

Funding

The $24.7 million renovation was financed through public and private sources. Although initially difficult to finance because of the nationwide financial crisis, SHRA acquired the property for $1. It relocated remaining residents as a strategy to stabilize and hold the property for a suitable development opportunity, Archuleta explains.

“In June 2009, Norwood Avenue Housing Corp., the local nonprofit public benefit corporation, affiliated with SHRA, applied for and received a federal 9 percent lowincome housing tax credit allocation and approval for a one-time $13.5 million award of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act exchange funds,” she says.

Each of the 104 studio units includes a kitchenette.

Each of the 104 studio units includes a kitchenette.

SHRA contributed $10.1 million in permanent financing; U.S. Bank provided $5.5 million in construction loans; and Community Resource Project Inc. was instrumental in Jamboree Housing receiving $624,000 in federal weatherization funds.

Hotel Berry’s retrofit demonstrates that it is worth taking the time to evaluate and rehabilitate historic buildings. Archuleta notes: “The local community reaction has been very positive. The Studios at Hotel Berry has been recognized with numerous awards from local, regional and national industry organizations.”

Dunn says, “This successful renovation goes to show that everyone deserves a beautiful place to live.”

Project Team

Architect: Gelfand Partners Architects, San Francisco
Interior Design: Faulkner Design Group, Dallas
General Contractor: Precision General Commercial Contractors Inc., Sausalito, Calif.
Environmental Remediation: Gala Construction Inc., Rocklin, Calif., (916) 780-4900
Property Management: The John Stewart Co., San Francisco
Supportive Services: Transitional Living and Community Support, Sacramento

PHOTOS: Juantallo.com

About the Author

Elyse Cooper
Elyse Cooper has been writing about the design and construction industry for seven years, authoring articles for various nationally circulated trade publications.

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