News and Notes

Building community comes naturally to us, so sometimes we forget our work is newsworthy. But we’re happy to report our projects, partnerships and community involvement are making news.

Check out our latest Newsletter here.

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Check out our latest projects on our New Work Page here.

Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends In Better Health

Terraza Palmera at St. Joseph's -Redevelopment Phase II, Oakland, CA and Potrero HOPE SF Master Plan, San Francisco, CA were included in a story broadcast on NPR discussing the correlation between improved housing and better health.

Improving Housing Can Pay Dividends In Better Health

Faiza Ayesh giggles with delight as she describes her brand-new two-bedroom apartment in Oakland, Calif. She shares her home with her husband and three little girls, ages 3, 2 and 5 months. Ayesh, 30, says she just loves being a stay-at-home mom. "It's the best job in the world."

Across the bay in San Francisco, another mother, Uzuri Pease-Greene, shares a two-bedroom apartment in a public housing complex with her husband, two daughters and granddaughter. What worries Pease-Greene, 49, the most about their situation is the health of her 4-year-old granddaughter, who has asthma. Marijuana and crack laced cigarette smoke seep into the apartment, including the bedroom where her granddaughter sleeps.

The girl's asthma has gotten so severe she had to be hospitalized three times. But that might soon change. The nonprofit group Bridge Housing, which builds subsidized housing for low income individuals and families, plans to tear down the buildings and develop a whole new neighborhood. Pease-Greene, who works for Bridge Housing as a junior community builder, is hopeful that it won't just deliver clean, working apartments but also a neighborhood where it's more difficult for drug dealers to openly sell drugs.

Read the full article here.

Sunnydale HOPE SF Master Plan Ready for Review

The Sunnydale community, originally built as a visionary housing solution for wartime ship builders, is ready for its formal environmental review and public hearings.

The two public hearings to review the Environmental Impact Report for the project have been scheduled for January 20 and 22, 2015.  And if approved and funded, the development will occur in three major phases.

The new Sunnydale will be redeveloped incrementally to create a network of streets that connect with the surrounding neighborhood; create a variety of housing types for a mix of incomes and provide carefully scaled park spaces and recreational opportunities lined with public facilities. Principles of sustainable “green” development for the neighborhood and greater community will be integral to this transformation.

Read the full article here, read about Sunnydale HOPE SF here.

AIA San Francisco 2014 Honor Award Winner
St. Joseph's Redevelopment

St. Joseph’s Redevelopment has won a 2014 AIA San Francisco Design Honor Award for Historic Preservation. In existence for nearly half a century, AIA San Francisco’s Design Awards program celebrates outstanding achievements in architecture and design. BRIDGE Housing is the developer.

AIASF will host the 2014 Design Awards Exhibition to recognize the outstanding contributions of the award winners to the built environment. They will be on display at the AIA San Francisco and Center for Architecture + Design Gallery from May 12 through July 31.

The Redevelopment of the St. Joseph’s Historic Campus serves as a successful public-private partnership model. By preserving and converting a dilapidated historic landmark, the development offers a significant public good to the community by providing affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and the adaptive re-use of historic structures.

Read more on the award here, read about St. Joseph's Redevelopment here.

Fire Clay Lofts
ULI 2013 Colorado Impact Award Winner

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Colorado has named Fire Clay Lofts the winner of the 2013 Colorado Impact Award in the Infill Category. The Impact Awards are based on the ULI Awards for Excellence, the most highly respected international program of land use awards.  As with the ULI Awards for Excellence, ULI Colorado recognized only those projects that realize ULI best practices while also providing successful business and economic models.

St. Joseph's Senior Apartments
ULI 2013 Global Awards of Excellence Finalist

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) has named St. Joseph’s Senior Apartments as a finalist for the 2013 ULI Global Awards for Excellence, widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program.

“We are honored to be a finalist for this prestigious award,” said Cynthia A. Parker, President and CEO of BRIDGE Housing. “The St. Joseph’s affordable development preserves an important historic landmark in Oakland's San Antonio neighborhood, and the entire campus provides a true multigenerational housing community.”


2175 Market Street Taking Shape

2175 Market Street is slowly rising above street level and recently made Curbed SF's list of 40 Most Notable New Developments Under Construction at #12.


Potrero HOPE SF Master Plan Wins Gold Nugget Award of Merit -
On the Boards Site Plan


Warner Creek Senior Housing Grand Opening

Warner Creek Senior Apartments held it's Grand Opening Celebration. The project features 60 new affordable rental homes for lower income seniors to “age in place”, a creek-side courtyard, several community spaces for resident activities, a computer learning center, and resident gardens. Sustainable features include bay-friendly landscaping with native plants and high-efficiency irrigation, solar hot water heaters, low-flow shower heads and high-efficiency HVAC pumps. Warner Creek is located near the downtown in close proximity to transit and amenities. Eden Housing is the developer.


Happen to Catch Us Cruising Around Town?

Here Take a Closer Look...

VMWP was happy to be invited to take part in San Francisco Small Business Week. The event is a partnership formed to honor and support the small businesses and entrepreneurs that call San Francisco home. As part of National Small Business Week, it celebrates the contributions and achievements of small business owners by offering a series of educational and networking events designed to inspire, educate and connect the members of our business community.


Winners! Sunnydale & Potrero both Receive
HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grants

We are pleased to announce that the Sunnydale and Potrero Plans have each recieved a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. San Francisco was the only city to be awarded two of the 17 grants issued nationwide. Van Meter Williams Pollack [VMWP] is the Master Plan Architect for both projects.

HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative promotes a comprehensive approach to transforming distressed areas of concentrated poverty into viable and sustainable mixed-income neighborhoods. Building on the successes of HUD’s HOPE VI Program, Choice Neighborhoods links housing improvements with necessary services for the people who live there – including schools, public transit and employment opportunities.

“San Francisco made a bold step by launching HOPE SF and I thank HUD for supporting us in this journey to transform our City’s most distressed public housing sites into thriving communities,”
said Mayor Lee.

Read more here.

San Francisco Approves Its First Affordable Housing Welcoming
to LGBT Seniors

The City's first and the country's largest affordable housing specifically welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) seniors to be developed by Openhouse and Mercy Housing California was approved unanimously Thursday by the San Francisco Planning Commission. The development includes 110 apartments for low-income seniors, Openhouse service offices and an activity center for residents and LGBT seniors from across the City. Over 25,000 LGBT seniors live in San Francisco alone, many of whom do not access senior services and housing for fear of rejection and compromised care.

VMWP is proud to be part of this exciting project and will be working on the adaptive re-use and renovation of the historic Richardson Hall. This will incorporate 40 new units of LGBT friendly senior housing and residential amenities in the upper stories along with retail and office space for the nonprofit developer and service provider.

West Rivertown Place Featured in EBHO Video

Play the video below and you will take a virtual tour of three exemplary East Bay affordable housing communities. Visiting the places and meeting the faces of affordable housing is one of the most successful approaches to advocacy. Beautiful design, inclusive neighborhood planning, energy efficiency, accessibility, and committed residents and management are just some of the things that make affordable housing successful in the East Bay. Meet residents, architects, developers and others in three affordable housing communities, each created by EBHO member organizations.



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