Tag Archives: Senior housing

Pacific School of Religion to build 265-unit senior center

An overview of the senior housing planned for Pacific School of Religion's campus. Rendering: Solomon Cordwell Buenz
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The Pacific School of Religion is teaming up with an Illinois-based non-profit builder to construct 265 apartments for seniors on Holy Hill in Berkeley.

Mather LifeWays will build a “continuing care” facility that features apartments, a memory care unit, and nursing facilities for people at the end of their lives, according to Mary Leary, the president of the company, which is based in Evanston. The bulk of the units would be in five-to-six story buildings on PSR’s main campus along Scenic Avenue, with two six-unit buildings on Le Conte Avenue, she said. The units fronting Virginia Street would be three-stories high and constructed in a Mediterranean style to better blend into the neighborhood, she said.

The Mather in Berkeley, as the complex will be called, would be the first facility of its kind in Berkeley, and one that is sorely needed, said Leary. About 25% of Berkeley property owners are older than 55 , she said. Many professors from PSR, other schools affiliated with the Graduate Theological Union, and UC Berkeley move out of Berkeley after they retire because there are no senior centers to move into, said David Vásquez-Levy, president of the Pacific School of Religion.

“Almost none of our emeritus professors can stay in Berkeley,” said Vásquez-Levy. “That’s the case for a lot of our faculty in all our institutions. We are losing the opportunity to retain knowledge.”

The project would also return land to the tax rolls that is now tax exempt because it is used for religious purposes. … Continue reading »

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Historic senior housing complex gets overhaul

Strawberry Creek Lodge. Photo: Nicholas Bruno
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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.

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At Berkeley senior home, concern over a beloved garden

redwood gardens 3 photo: mark humbert
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Several garden plots at Berkeley’s Redwood Gardens have recently bitten the dust.

The raised beds, laid out in an inner courtyard of the HUD-subsidized complex for low-income seniors and the disabled, have been a source of pride and pleasure for many residents over the years. One woman cultivated rare roses. Another tended baby tears and had lined her plot with river rocks brought from her hometown of Oroville. A fig tree was a favorite among the gardeners, who also grew ginger, vegetables, and flowers. The small plots were well cared for and flourishing, a source of both comfort and community.

No longer.

As of last week the flowers and vegetables were largely gone, and many of the gardeners appeared to be in a state of shock and grief. As part of a rehab project going on at the complex, a memo had been issued by the corporation that manages Redwood Gardens, a company called CSI, with offices in Monrovia, California. By Oct. 3, it said, all plants had to be out of the planting boxes. Once construction was over, the plants could go back in. Trouble was, the corporation offered the seniors no timetable, and no help or materials. … Continue reading »

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Officials push UC Berkeley mixed-use project forward

A drawing from an October 2011 University of California presentation on the mixed-use project designed for University Village; Monroe Street splits the project in two. The site is bordered by San Pablo Avenue to the east. Source: University of California, Berkeley
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Plans for a senior living complex, new retail shops and a grocery store in Cal’s University Village in Albany have cleared another hurdle despite a campaign by activists over the summer to stall the development.

The Albany City Council voted Monday night to rescind what some saw as a controversial contract between the city and the property owner, the University of California, rather than to delay further by putting project approval before the voters in a special election.

(Albany City Clerk Nicole Almaguer said an election could cost from about $52,000 to about $122,000, depending whether the city required polling stations or opted for mail-in ballots only.) … Continue reading »

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