WatchSonoma Watch

6-story apartment building for seniors proposed for Santa Rosa


Santa Rosa developer Hugh Futrell is planning a six-story downtown apartment building for 140 low-income seniors.

The $30 million project on Fourth Street near Brookwood Avenue will include a medical center and other services for seniors on the first floor, features Futrell says are crucial for an aging population.

“The exploding demographic of low- and very-low income elderly has created an urgent need for affordable housing linked to affordable preventive medical care and supportive services,” Futrell in a statement.

The project is another example of how developers are rethinking what they can build in response to a real estate market still recovering from a historic collapse and a tight lending environment heavily reliant on tax credit financing for low income housing.

A six-story apartment building proposed on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. This is a view looking west from Fourth Street at Brookwood. (Jon Worden Architects)

A six-story apartment building proposed on Fourth Street in Santa Rosa. This is a view looking west from Fourth Street at Brookwood. (Jon Worden Architects)

Futrell is currently building a five-story low-income project on Humboldt Street. He also recently scaled back his Museum on the Square project at the former AT&T building, eliminating five stories of apartments in an effort to close the deal and begin construction in August.

Futrell has owned the vacant three-quarters-acre lot at 888 Fourth Street for about five years. In 2008 he won approval for build a seven-story building with 52-market rate condominiums. The recession killed that deal, so Futrell later tried to resurrect it as 116 units of rental housing. That also went nowhere.

Then last year, he began talking to two potential partners to take the project in a new direction.

Episcopal Senior Communities, the owner of Spring Lake Village in eastern Santa Rosa, and Jennings Court south of Coddingtown, saw the opportunity to house seniors close to downtown and the nearby medical services district anchored by Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.

“They were conscious of how quickly someone could be at the hospital in case of an emergency,” Futrell said.

ESC would manage the housing and supportive services, such as counseling services and meal delivery, of the complex.

The medical center would be leased and run by Santa Rosa Community Health Centers, which operates five health centers around the city mostly for people who don’t have private health insurance. They saw the project as a way to expand services to the city’s growing senior population.

The two organizations would coordinate their efforts to ensure needed services are delivered effectively, Futrell said.

The project could get underway by the end of the year. It will be financed through a combination of private lending, owner investment and low-income housing tax credits, he said.

(You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater)

4 Responses to “6-story apartment building for seniors proposed for Santa Rosa”

  1. Mac E. Velli says:

    Looks like Hugh Futrell is the only developer to build anything in Santa Rosa. Seriously, can you think of anything that’s been built in the last couple of years that WASN’T Futrell’s?

    He gets government subsidies.

    Museum On The Square–the ATT building. He got it for a huge discount and then got his opening on the transit mall for nothing. Now he’s dropping the 5 stories of residential. There goes that fantasy.

    How about his multi-story low income building on 7th and Humboldt?

    How about that tax write off he built on 3rd at Davis (or Wilson, whatever)–the office building that has never been occupied?

    The 4 story monstrosity on 7th at Orchard.

    Now the senior housing subsidy game.

    yeah, he’s the visionary. Big connections. Big subsidies. Big write-offs. Big deal. No competition. Why?
    Santa Rosa.

    Mac. E. Velli sayin’ ‘See ya in the poor house, Santa Rosa!’

  2. Brown Act Jack says:

    Yes, Indeed, low income seniors to live in the building and have the health services on the ground floor, and , somehow , or another, those low income seniors are going to pay the $2,000 a month rental!

    Looks like a residential and meals and health care, like Spring Lake Village at $5,000 a month, or somewhere in that neighborhood.

    But then again, with ObamaCare, it may all be paid through the ACA and the only ones to benefit will be the investors who get their taxes lowered, the medical service provider to gets payments from the government, and the seniors, who are so poor that they can not afford medical insurance.

    Folks, I am a senior, and I object to this sort of stealing from the public to benefit groups.

  3. James Bennett says:

    Smart Growth is Smart Growth is Smart growth.

    You can call it senior apartments, Transit Oriented Housing or ‘Villages’.
    Affordable Housing, Mixed Use, Live/Work or a miriad of other warm ‘n fuzzy terms.

    They are to replace private property ownership. Subsidized by us. It subverts the free market as the developers are chosen based on criteria not organic to same.

    It may be smart, but not for us.

  4. GAJ says:

    Interesting project.

    Not sure how much positive impact it will have on Downtown shops, restaurants and bars though.