Affordable Housing JV Pays $72M for California Community

The fully affordable senior property once served as housing for the California School for the Deaf and Blind.

Redwood Gardens. Image courtesy of Greysteel

A partnership between non-profit affordable housing owner Foundation Housing and affordable housing developer Pennant Housing Group has acquired a 169-unit senior housing community in Berkeley, Calif., for $72.1 million. The seller, Cooperative Support & Development, is a non-profit affordable housing developer based in Monrovia, Calif.

The joint venture also obtained acquisition financing for its purchase of Redwood Gardens Apartments, a HUD-subsidized apartment community that has a Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment contract. Financing terms were not disclosed by Greysteel, which represented the seller and assisted the buyer in securing the acquisition financing.

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Redwood Gardens is an adaptive reuse property that was originally built in 1922 as housing for the California School for the Deaf and Blind. The campus was designated a Berkeley Landmark in 1981 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In 1984, additional buildings were added to the 3.5-acre property and it was converted into senior housing for residents age 62 and older, as well as low-income and mobility-impaired residents. Per regulatory agreements, the senior community will continue to operate as such in perpetuity.

The fully affordable community has a mix of studio and one-bedroom units averaging 500 square feet in size, according to Yardi Matrix data. Located in the city’s Claremont District, the property is situated about 2 miles east of the downtown area and about a mile from the University of California, Berkeley campus. Resident amenities at Redwood Gardens include a fitness center, business center, clubhouse and laundry facilities.

The Redwood Gardens purchase marks the second acquisition for the joint venture of Foundation Housing and Pennant Housing. The organizations previously teamed up in 2018 to purchase Harriet Tubman Terrace Apartments, a 91-unit senior community in Berkeley.

Over the summer, a joint venture between Berkeley Food & Housing Project and BRIDGE Housing broke ground on an 89-unit affordable housing project in downtown Berkeley. The project, which had been in the works for more than a decade, will include affordable homes as well as homeless shelter beds and support services once it is completed in May 2022.

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