Groundbreaking marks new dawn for Hacienda housing complex

Groundbreaking marks new dawn for Hacienda housing complex
Existing Hacienda property (Photo by Kathy Chouteau)

By Kathy Chouteau

The Hacienda affordable housing complex in Richmond is getting a major upgrade. On Wednesday, a group of stakeholders gathered on Zoom to celebrate its virtual groundbreaking and revitalization. Shuttered since 2015, an overhaul is in the works for the long dilapidated, 150-unit complex at 1300 Roosevelt Ave. The project will maintain the overall layout of the existing building, while implementing design changes to make it more pedestrian friendly, secure and community-oriented.

When the project reaches its anticipated completion in 2022, Hacienda will play home to a community of at-risk seniors age 62 and older. The revamped affordable housing complex will include 25 units for formerly homeless seniors, 15 units for the frail elderly and 108 units for low-income seniors making less than 50 percent AMI. Hacienda will have onsite resident services and case management with amenities to serve the senior community.

Residential units are set to be completely renovated with new kitchens, appliances and new bathrooms. Flooring and wall finishes will also be replaced and there will be new fresh air ventilation systems, along with baseboard heaters and bathroom exhaust fans.

Exterior designs of improvements planned for the Hacienda. The photo on the right shows the new entrance with the green wall, palm trees and windows.

The Hacienda will offer an array of daily services for seniors free of charge, among them educational health and wellness, or skill building classes, as well as a visiting nurses program, intergenerational visiting programs and senior companion programs.

Preparations preceding the virtual groundbreaking and celebration spanned several years and included extensive behind-the-scenes administrative elbow grease. Joining the Zoom call were many of those individuals whose hard work and diligence saw the project come to fruition, including Richmond Mayor Tom Butt; Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia (District 1); Nannette Beacham, director, Richmond Housing Authority; Gerard Windt, director, Office of Public Housing, HUD; Doug Shoemaker, president, Mercy Housing California; George Argyris on behalf of the Bettye Poetz Ferguson Foundation; Don Gilmore, CEO, Community Housing Development Corporation; James Vossoughi of JP Morgan Chase; and Philip Porter of Enterprise.

In addressing the Zoom participants, Mayor Butt spoke about how one of his first acts upon becoming mayor in January 2015 was traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier and to sign up with HUD and secure the vouchers Richmond needed to get the 150 Hacienda residents moved out of the decrepit building.

“We pulled this off and it took a long time but we’re here and this is going to be very exciting,” said Mayor Butt about the revitalization project. “I’m going to be over there frequently with my hardhat on checking on construction. So let’s get it right guys! Thank you.”

Existing Hacienda property showing the location where the new entrance to Hacienda will be built. It will extend out over much of the current lot. The small building on the right by the tree and the garbage receptacles will be torn down. (Photo by Kathy Chouteau)

Mercy Housing California (MHC), in partnership with the Community Housing Development Corporation of North Richmond (CHDC), was awarded the RFP by the Richmond Housing Authority to revitalize Hacienda. Nibbi Brothers will be spearheading the building rehab, which due to the disrepair, will be extensive and will encompass the aforementioned all new units and building systems.

One of Hacienda’s major improvements, designed by Pyatok Architects, will be to relocate the buildings’ main entrance onto the Marina Way side of the site via an addition that will be built to create a more defined entry point. This move will not only shorten the distance the senior residents will need to walk to BART and the AC Transit bus stop along Barrett Ave., but will also create an excellent pick-up and drop-off zone at the building’s Marina Way cul-de-sac. The addition will also house community and office spaces for the building’s operational staff.

Other stand-out facets of the project will include the relocation of Hacienda’s community room to open out onto the building’s courtyard, to feature seating, BBQ pits and a community garden for the seniors. New meeting rooms for social services will also overlook the revamped courtyard. Multiple old growth trees currently located in the courtyard and adjacent to the building, however, will be cut down due to the surrounding refurbishments.

Existing Hacienda property (Photo by Kathy Chouteau)

There will also be an extensive lead/asbestos abatement program of the building and a new roof and PV system will be installed. All new mechanical, ventilation, heating, electrical, fire alarm, security systems and fire sprinklers in the ground floor common areas will be other parts of the improvements.

Once the project is complete, Hacienda, which was originally built in 1966, will have a 20 percent improvement in its energy efficiency as compared to its existing building. Hacienda is pursuing Green Point Rated Existing Home Multifamily program (GPR), an energy efficiency certification, under the rehabilitation.

Funding for the Hacienda project, per the City of Richmond, include: A tax-exempt permanent loan; an RHA seller carryback loan for the value of the building improvements; HOME/CDBG funds from Contra Costa County; Multifamily Housing Program (MHP) funds from the State Department of Housing and Community Development; a general partner capital contribution; and a private donation from the Ferguson Foundation, which will be structured as a general partner loan to the project from MHC. In addition, the project will have 148 Section 8 vouchers on a 20-year HAP contract with a 20-year renewal, provided by the Housing Authority of Contra Costa County.