Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Downtown Residential Hotel Report

Today the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency will submit a report (item 9) to the City Council on the required number of residential hotel units (712) located in downtown Sacramento.

Currently there are three single room occupancy (SRO) residential hotel projects in various stages of rehabilitation or financing approval: the YWCA (32 units), the Hotel Berry (104 units), and 7th & H SRO Project ( 150 units). The rehabilitation of the YWCA is nearing completion. The Hotel Berry project received an allocation of nine percent low income housing tax credits in September 2009 and an award of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) exchange funds in December 2009. Disposition of the Hotel Berry property to the nonprofit developer Jamboree Housing Corporation and commencement of construction is anticipated in summer 2010. The proposed 7th & H SRO Project which will create 150 new efficiency units is applying for nine percent low income housing tax credits in June 2010. The 7th & H SRO Project has been identified as the replacement site for the 19 units that were lost at the Wendell and will further the goals of the City's SRO Preservation and Replacement Policy adopted to encourage "no net loss" of SRO units in downtown Sacramento.

Several of the hotels surveyed are less than fully occupied due to deteriorating physical conditions and the challenging rental market. Currently, city staff are evaluating financing options for the renovation of the Ridgeway Hotel which requires substantive improvements. The Marshall Hotel owner is planning to convert the property to a market rate boutique hotel when market conditions improve. If the use does change, 95 existing residential hotel units could be withdrawn and replacement units would need to be identified.


cm25 said...

Frankly, I just don't understand why we complain about the problems with the type of people that loiter on K Street while at the same time we are spending money to update the residential hotels which they use to carry on illegal activity. Get rid of the residential hotels on K St.

Stephen said...

Actually, new and updated residential hotels and affordable apartments could be attractive to law-abiding citizens who don't make enough to pay $1,000+ per month for a unit. I am low income, and I'd like more affordable housing options - certainly not to carry on illegal activity - but to live. I'm getting really tired of hearing complaints about the less than quality individuals who are down town. Yes, they can cause problems, but they are just part and parcel of the city experience. If you prefer a sterilized version, head to Disneyland - it'll only cost you $70 per day.

Zwahlen Images said...

Many of these downtown SRO are an ideal location for sex offenders which may not live within 2,000 feet of schools, parks, other places where kids gather. A quick search on www.meganslaw.ca.gov will frighten you with the numbers located at these residential hotels.

cm25 said...

I would differentiate between low-income housing and residential hotels. I am fine with low-income housing and I think that K street should have more housing in general, market-rate as well as low-income.

Residential hotels are different because the population in them is usually transient looking for a place to stay for after getting out of jail or to carry on illegal activity. Residential hotels don't provide a good, solid population base that a neighborhood needs to survive and thrive.

Regarding them being "part and parcel of the city experience" this is simply not true. People do not go to K st because of the people that congregate there. This is not a situation we should just accept. I understand that any downtown area will tend to attract more unsavory types, but when the ONLY people in your downtown area, the (potential) centerpiece of your city are unsavory it is simply unacceptable.

wburg said...

cm25: All of the residential hotels in downtown Sacramento rent by the month. None of them rent by the night (or by the hour, if that's what you're suggesting by "illegal activity."

Residential hotels used to include both middle-class and upper-class residences, some of which combined overnight visitors with long-term residents. In a way, the new hotel at 15th and L with condos on the top levels is just a modern version of a high-end residential hotel!

cm25 said...

wburg: I realize they don't rent by the night or hour and that is not what I mean by "illegal activity." Just because you have to rent by the month doesn't mean you won't use your room for something unsavory, i.e. a prostitute renting out a room on a monthly basis, drug dealers keeping rooms, parolees, etc.

And I agree that in a sense the Residence Inn is just a high end residential hotel, but the that is the point, it is "high-end" and attracts a much different clientele than the "low-end" residential hotels.

I just feel like this is all beside the point. My view may not be kind towards the downtrodden but I am just trying to be realistic. I am in favor of helping the poor and mentally ill but let's do it in a realistic manner.

Like I said previously, if you want K St to really shine, like it once did, you must take away the element that ruins it for everybody, and one of those elements is the residential hotels. Also included on that list should be liquor stores and the Greyhound station. Until these blights are eliminated it is hard to imagine K St will ever change.

Save Lake View YMCA Housing said...

SRO-type residential hotels are home to many long-term residents earning an income and paying rent who reside there for many years and decades. These include not just the retires and disabled but also many local workers including service industry, guards, drivers, laborers, clerks, attendants, and others. They are, for the most part, as fine and reputable as any other residential population.
SROs are not shelters - they are rent-paying residences. Frequently, SRO residents fall prey to unscrupulous building owners and property managers, and yet, no one seems to care much about that.
For some people, SROs meet their immediate housing need including being available and accessible offering monthly and weekly rent payment plans. In the larger picture, SROs serve as a financially viable and critically needed hpusing stock that helps meet our tremendous ned in urban housing.