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BRIDGE Renews, Reinvests in Fell Street Apartments

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 9, 2013—San Francisco will celebrate the rededication of Fell Street Apartments today at 333 Fell Street. The event begins at 11 am with a short speaking program followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony and refreshments.

Nonprofit developer, owner and property manager BRIDGE Housing recently completed a 13-month, $17-million renewal of the 82-unit property, which was originally built in 1994. Fell Street Apartments is a signature urban infill development that was part of the City of San Francisco’s redevelopment strategy for a challenged neighborhood near the Civic Center: the property anchored a renaissance of the Hayes Valley district following the Loma Prieta earthquake.

From late 2011 through 2012, BRIDGE’s Portfolio Management Team enhanced the physical condition of the property and added significant sustainability measures. The company replaced aging building elements and systems with more efficient and higher-performing alternatives, replaced 600 windows with higher-efficiency models, conformed to updated codes, and prepared the building for another 20 years of service.

The property was retrofitted with a new high-efficiency boiler, a cool roof, a photovoltaic electrical system and a solar thermal water heating system. The solar electric system is anticipated to generate enough energy to power 100% of the common area electricity usage including lighting, elevators and HVAC systems. The solar water heating system provides up to 40% of the energy required annually for all hot water use.

The renewal project coincided with the expiration of Fell Street Apartments’ original LIHTC award and a strategic project buyout, resyndication and refinance to preserve the building as high quality affordable housing.

Rents range from approximately $569 to $1,200, depending on apartment size and household income, and are affordable to families earning $21,050 to $66,600 (50-60% AMI for a family of four). Fell Street Apartments helps to meet a substantial affordable housing need in a high-cost market, as evidenced by the average household tenure of more than 10 years, long-term vacancy rates below 2% and an extensive waitlist.

Historically, Fell Street residents have had access to a variety of programs, including computer classes, English as a Second Language, health and nutritional cooking classes, after school tutoring, and a variety of financial literacy classes. Following the project renewal, BRIDGE intends to expand the current service menu to address a wider range of topics such as retirement planning, identity theft prevention and consumer safety, budgeting, pre-purchase homeownership education and academic readiness.

Financial partners on the renewal included the City and County of San Francisco, Wells Fargo Bank, the California Department of Housing and Community Development, and the California Community Reinvestment Corporation. The architect for the rehab was Ferrari Moe, and the general contractor was SD Deacon.

Expected speakers at the rededication include Olson Lee of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing, Fell Street Apartments resident Thuylynh Nguyen, Jeff Bennett of Wells Fargo, and Ann Silverberg of BRIDGE Housing.

For more information about BRIDGE Housing, visit www.bridgehousing.com.

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Editors: Images of Fell Street Apartments are available; please contact Lyn Hikida to request.