ALAMEDA -- An old motel downtown that had drawn complaints of drug problems and other criminal activity has been converted to affordable housing apartments and is accepting applicants. What was once the 1970s era Islander Motel at 2428 Central Ave. is now the Park Alameda, a 62-unit studio apartment building.
Though there is some finishing construction work under way, nine of the units are occupied, said Debbie Potter, the city's housing development and programs manager.
All of the apartments are for one- to two-person households and applicants must qualify based on their income and other factors. There has been some misconception the housing was mostly meant for senior citizens, but that isn't the case, Potter said.
Potter said the Alameda Housing Authority, working with Berkeley-based Resources for Community Development, a nonprofit developer and provider of affordable housing, had the goal of developing housing near businesses to help create a local workforce to benefit residents and the businesses.
Rental fees range from about $300 to nearly $800. Qualifying applicants are required to have incomes ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent of current median income. Potter said the city projects the building will be fully leased by the end of March. Applicant selections are done through a lottery.
An office building and a community room were added to the property. On the Central Avenue side of the apartments are metallic panels, partly for design elements and partly to help keep the units cool in hot weather, Potter said.
There are still spaces open for applicants whose income is 40 percent to 50 percent of the median income. For more information on qualifications and how to apply, go to the community development's website at www.rcdev.org/ or call 510-841-4410.
In 2010, the City Council approved a proposal to buy the Islander property. The project cost roughly $18 million and was paid for through various funds including $8.6 million in Community Improvement funds and about $9 million from outside funding sources.
The building is now owned and operated by Resources and Community Development and the Alameda Housing Authority as co-general partners and tax credit investors as limited partners.