A 150-unit affordable senior housing complex in West Berkeley has announced a celebration later this month to show off extensive renovations to improve its seismic safety and add environmentally friendly features, according to a statement released Wednesday.
Strawberry Creek Lodge, at 1320 Addison St. (near Acton Street), was built in 1962. The $15 million project to refinance and remodel the facility began 16 months ago. A “grand re-opening” is set for later this month, on Oct. 28.
Read more about affordable housing in Berkeley.
The facility includes a mix of 120 studio units and 30 one-bedroom apartments. Also on site are amenities such as a movie theater, library and computer lab, recreation rooms, an art room, a dining area, bike storage and a lounge.
Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) manages the apartments, and coordinates the services on site.
According to this week’s statement, “The 53-year-old building was in great need of safety and accessibility improvements. The extensive rehabilitation included a seismic retrofit, updated security system, and emergency and exterior lighting systems. Eight units were converted to make them ADA compliant. Pathways were widened and the community garden was redesigned to make both ADA compliant as well.”
Green features added to the facility include new solar panels on the roof, which provide 40% of the building’s electricity, and a solar hot water system set to reduce gas usage by 50%.
The project also emphasized the use of sustainable materials, as well as native drought-tolerant landscaping.
According to SAHA Executive Director Susan Friedland, “I think it’s fair to say that Strawberry Creek is one of the founding communities of affordable housing for seniors in the Bay Area. Preserving affordable housing stock is an effective strategy to ensure that cities like Berkeley remain accessible to low-income people. We are proud to continue the tradition of equity and independent living that the Strawberry Creek Foundation began back in 1960.”
Steven Carr, president of the Strawberry Creek Foundation, described the rehab as “very challenging.” Most of the facility’s residents remained on site during the project.
Said Strawberry Creek resident Saeeda Kahn: “It’s hard living through a construction project, but we made it possible for residents through great leadership and planning. The result is a safer and greener Strawberry Creek Lodge. I’ve lived here for 35 years and it feels good to know Strawberry Creek will be around for at least another 35.”
Funding for the acquisition and rehabilitation of Strawberry Creek Lodge was provided by the city of Berkeley’s Housing Trust Fund, the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, Bank of the West, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Renewal, and the Strawberry Creek Lodge Foundation.
SAHA has 60 properties in Northern California, featuring 3,000 homes for low-income seniors, families and people with special needs.
The re-opening celebration is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. There will be a program at 11 a.m. followed by tours of the facility. Read more about SAHA on its website.
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