GlobeSt.com, Sept. 28, 2020
By Lisa Brown
Crucial funding has been secured for the rehabilitation of three historic Single Resident Occupancy hotels: Hotel Madrid, Park View and Gran Oriente, all located on South Park Street less than a quarter-mile from Oracle Park.
SAN FRANCISCO—A much-needed rehabilitation is on the way. Crucial funding has been secured for the rehabilitation of three historic Single Resident Occupancy hotels: Hotel Madrid, Park View and Gran Oriente, according to Mission Housing.
All three SROs are located on South Park Street less than a quarter-mile from Oracle Park. The next steps are the construction and temporary relocation of current residents.
“Our mission isn’t just to build more homes,” said Sam Moss, Mission Housing executive director. “We also work hard to ensure the quality of life for our tenants is the highest available.”
The process to rehab all three hotels began in 2018. When Filipino community leaders such as SOMCAN, SOMA Pilipinas and the Filipino Community Development Corporation learned of a potential sale for the Gran Oriente, they reached out to San Francisco District 6 Supervisor Jane Kim to facilitate a solution to keep ownership of the property in community hands so its affordability would be positioned to survive for future generations. Supervisor Kim connected the organizers with Mission Housing.
After Mission Housing acquired the historic Gran Oriente, the decision was made to combine all three buildings into a scattered sites project with financing that includes tax credits and bonds. Chase Bank and the Mayor’s Office of Housing and Community and Development are major supporters.
“The rehabilitation of the three South Park Street sites will revitalize much-needed affordable housing in San Francisco and provide support for the formerly homeless,” said James Vossoughi, vice president of community development banking with Chase. “We’re excited to work with Mission Housing and continue to be committed to supporting critical projects like this that help local communities thrive. This project will allow Mission Housing to keep housed our most vulnerable community members in the almost completely gentrified South Park area.”
Single-Room Occupancy hotels or residential hotels, as they are commonly known, have been a vital part of San Francisco’s housing stock as well as in cities across the United States for more than two centuries. A typical SRO is a single 8- by 10-foot room with shared toilets and showers.
Once known as the “Hotel City” when SROs were the predominant housing type, San Francisco still has hundreds of SRO hotels that are home to more than 30,000 tenants or approximately 5% of the city, according to Central City SRO Collaborative.
“Single Room Occupancy communities like the three South Park sites are an essential part of San Francisco’s housing stock, providing homes for so many of our most vulnerable neighbors,” Vossoughi tells GlobeSt.com. “Chase is proud to support Mission Housing and our clients’ impactful work in revitalizing these crucial projects that are so important to the city’s history.”
Hotel Madrid is one of two South Park Residence properties that Mission Housing Development Corporation acquired and rehabbed in 1987. Hotel Madrid now provides permanent housing for formerly homeless and very low-income adults. After the initial renovation, the staff established on-site programs to assist the hotel’s 44 special needs and formerly homeless residents.
Along with the Hotel Madrid, the Park View Hotel was acquired and rehabbed in 1987. It now houses 40 formerly homeless and very low-income adults.
Built in 1907, the Gran Oriente Hotel became one of the earliest Filipino-owned buildings in the South of Market Area when it was purchased in the 1920s by members of the Gran Oriente Filipino Masonic fraternity.
“I’m humbled to see that even during a pandemic we are able to continue our essential services work and provide a dignified home to our residents at South Park,” said Marcia Contreras, Mission Housing deputy executive director. “Mission Housing expects to complete the project in the Fall of 2021. We look forward to working on this project with the continued support of the entire staff and our new property manager, FPI Management.”