St. Marks is a 102-unit elderly (62+) multifamily property in Oakland, California. Fairstead’s acquisition in February 2017 was symbolic for its preservation of affordability in an area known for a shortage of affordable housing and dominated by new market-rate construction. 98% of the residential units at the St. Marks Apartments benefit from Project-Based Section 8. Fairstead implemented a comprehensive in-unit, common area and exterior rehabilitation plan that included the installation of a rooftop solar panel system, high-efficiency interior and exterior lighting and water fixtures, the conversion of domestic water production from a gas-fired boiler to high-efficiency heat pumps and a full seismic retrofit, due to the seismic conditions of the Bay Area. The nature of these upgrades required all residents to be temporarily displaced—four to twenty-six units at a time—in order to rehabilitate the units in an orderly and safe manner. As part of the relocation strategy, Fairstead hired professional moving companies, interpreters to accommodate non-English speaking residents and provided high-quality storage containers and safes. Beyond the rehabilitation of the residential units and common areas, Fairstead also adjusted the project scope to first re-stabilize the dated foundation.
Coupled with Fairstead’s preservation plan, our energy-conscious approach yielded 30% energy savings over a two year period.