To help address this concern, Citizens Housing Corporation has developed an adaptive reuse project that converted the historic and abandoned Third Church Christ Scientist building into Haight Street Senior Housing, a 40 unit affordable senior housing development in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
Scheduled to open in October, the development sits at the entrance of Buena Vista Park. The former church is considered an architectural gem and is valued by the community for its unique presence in the Haight-Ashbury community over the last 90 years.
The project incorporates Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Section 202 program funds and local funding from San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing. Haight Street Senior Housing will accommodate residents who are 62 years and older and earn a maximum income level of 50 percent of the area median income (AMI). Citizens Housing Corporation anticipates that most residents will be seniors with fixed incomes of less than $20,000 per year.
|The site of Haight Street Senior Housing before redevelopment.
||Although not a striking change on the exterior (in order to preserve the historic qualities of the building), Haight Street Senior Housing is now ready for occupancy.|
The project combines both historic restoration with adaptive reuse of the interior, allowing the building to be put back into use and to provide operating income to maintain the structure in perpetuity. Renovations also included the complete seismic upgrade of an un-reinforced masonry structure, historic preservation of an important local landmark, and new residential construction.
The innovative design enabled the building’s use to be transformed from a house of worship to housing. It remains a four-story building with minimal alterations to the exterior.
When the site was identified, it became a challenge to fit a feasible number of units into it, without losing its architectural character. The new design preserves the intricate Byzantine exterior of the church building, complete with its highly ornate plaster work and stained glass windows.
The project achieved broad community support through extensive community outreach and meetings to sort out issues of design, parking, vehicle access, and tenant profile. There was much concern about the fate of this property, and opposition to previous plans to significantly alter or demolish the structure.
Haight Street Senior Housing offers a unique solution to this preservation problem and enables the neighborhood to maintain historic and diverse elements of its architectural past. The project will also add to the generational diversity of this typically young neighborhood, enhancing the popular perception of Haight-Ashbury’s diverse population.
Editor’s Note: Please note that at press time, the development’s name (Haight Street Senior Housing) was still pending approval.
Haight Street Senior Housing (Name Pending): At a Glance
Opened: Grand Opening Scheduled for Oct. 2007
Developer: Citizens Housing Corporation
Units: 40 units
Studios – 33 units
One-bedrooms – 7 units
San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing: $8,225,140
U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development: $5,086,000
Federal Home Loan Bank San Francisco: $320,000
Total Cost: $13,311,460