Celebrating the Rehab of Westlake West
Friends, partners and supporters gathered on November 17 to celebrate the grand re-opening of CCH’s premier Westlake Christian Terrace West (WCTW), located near the heart of downtown Oakland. Local dignitaries joined CCH officials to commemorate completion of the recently renovated housing community.
First built in 1976, WCTW reflects Oakland’s rich, ethnic diversity and addresses the city’s need for more affordable senior housing. The high-rise apartment complex, convenient to nearby shopping, entertainment and public transportation, is home to more than 200 low to moderate income seniors.
“We are extremely grateful to our partners, supporters and the City of Oakland for their collaboration which has enabled CCH to realize completion of this milestone project, under budget despite construction and safety challenges brought about by the pandemic. We are pleased to have completed this project, helping to revitalize and bring much-needed affordable housing for deserving seniors in this community,” said CCH President and CEO Syd Najeeb.
Oakland City Councilmember Carroll Fife of the third district which is home to WCTW thanked CCH and the project team on behalf of the City of Oakland. “This is a beautiful facility and a great place for our seniors to come home to daily,” she said. “It’s a serene and quiet oasis right in the center of the city, removed from the hustle and bustle and some of the challenges facing our city today.”
The councilwoman noted that affordable housing is a major issue not only for the City of Oakland, but across the state and the nation. “With rising rents and spiraling homelessness, we are moved to find solutions,” she stated. “This property is a shining example of how working together we can find ways not only to build more available housing but to look at renovating existing properties to add comfort to the lives of our residents.”
Oakland Housing Authority Executive Director Patricia Wells spoke on the power of partnerships and collaboration to preserve and enhance affordable housing. “What we see here today was ignited by the Authority’s investment of 121 precious, project-based vouchers for the next 20 years – an annual contribution of $2.7 million and a 20 year contribution of $47 million,” she said. “This is good stewardship of Federal funds. Careful facilitation by the planning team and coordination of partnerships ensures not just a wonderful rehab but a beautification to make sure this community continues to be vibrant for the elders we serve.”
She noted that with input from residents and careful stewardship of the project-based voucher program, CCH was able to achieve quality community spaces, accessibility improvements and energy efficiencies that exceeded requirements. “Kudos to the CCH team and thank you for your dedication to the city and its residents,” she shared.
Speaking on behalf of her fellow residents, LaVoyce Green commended CCH for making the rehab process easy despite the challenges of relocating during the renovation. “The wait was worth it,” LaVoyce said. “We can now enjoy the beautiful landscaping, the gorgeous new founder’s room, the fitness center, pool table, laundry center and most especially the computer room, to name a few of the updated amenities,” she shared.
Following a symbolic ribbon-cutting ceremony, guests toured the renovated building to view its many upgrades and a gallery of photos from the original construction to the current redesign. They also were able to pick up refreshments and commemorative items.
In bringing the project to fruition, CCH’s major funding partners included Citi Community Capital; Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; CA Tax Credit Allocation Committee; CA Debt Limit Allocation Committee; and Disciples of Christ Church Extension Fund. The project team consisted of MWA Architects, Inc., Branagh, Inc., Gunkel Architecture, Goldfarb and Lipman, LLP, and Community Economics, Inc.
As CCH celebrates its 60th anniversary of proving quality affordable housing to low-income seniors, special recognition was given to CCH’s project development team, including Real Estate Director Sidney Stone and Project Manager Jevon Allen. Syd noted that CCH has several projects are on the horizon, including rehabilitation projects in California and a new development in Memphis.
Click here to view photos of the grand re-opening celebration.