Empty San Pablo office building to become housing for homeless

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Vacant San Pablo office building to become housing for homeless
Photo courtesy of Overaa Construction.

An old office building in San Pablo will soon be converted into permanent supportive housing for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, homelessness, thanks to a unique partnership involving Overaa Construction and Contra Costa County.

The vacant building at 2555 El Portal Drive, near Contra Costa College, will be converted into 54 housing units with supportive services for previously unhoused residents, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia stated on social media.

“We’re using Federal, State and County funding to build and operate this life-saving project,” Gioia said. “Working together, we can get things done to solve homelessness.”

According to Richmond-based Overaa Construction, the two-level, 27,000 square foot building will be reimagined “as a community of small residences of approximately 350 square feet each, with ADA-adaptable bathrooms and kitchenettes.”

“The program includes recreation areas, a dog park, EV parking, and provisions for a future residents’ garden and roof top solar array,” the company said.

An HUD grant will provide 24/7 administrative and supportive services on site, Overaa said.

“The development is the result of a highly collaborative and creative team including Studio T-SQ Architects, Base Landscape Architects, the City of San Pablo, and Contra Costa County,” according to the company.

According to a report by ABC7 Bay Area, construction on the project is expected to start this summer, with residents expected to move in during Fall 2023. The County is eyeing more vacant office buildings to convert into housing for people experiencing homelessness.