Ashland Place

location:San Lorenzo, CA
developer:Resources for Community Development
completion:February 2016

This mixed-use development in San Leandro welcomes all visitors, encourage community engagement, and provide residents with opportunities for peacefulness, recreation, learning and gathering.

Developed by the non-profit agency, Resources for Community Development (RCD), Ashland Place provides 85 units of new affordable housing for households with incomes that do not exceed 50% of the area median income. Fifteen of the one bedroom units are set aside as supportive housing for low-income young adults between the ages of 18-24 who don't have family support systems.

Ashland Place is located in unincorporated Alameda County between San Leandro and Hayward. Funding for the project came in part through the County Development Agency to better serve its residents and raising its overall economic vitality. The County also deeded a portion of property at E 14th Street and Kent Avenue, to allow for re-alignment of the intersection, creating a more pedestrian-friendly street and a small public plaza.

The development is comprised of four separate buildings with an equal mix of 1, 2 and 3-bedroom flats with a few upper level two-story townhouse units. Projecting bay windows and colored panels facing the busy street corner of East 14th and Kent Avenue give the building vibrancy and texture and evoke optimism for the area. The building is capped with a roof that dramatically cantilevers past the recessed 4th floor units. It gently curves away from Kent Avenue to create a more comfortable separation from the neighboring single family homes.

The parking rings the perimeter of the project leaving space for a large inner courtyard with a tree lined central green, built-in barbecue, a children’s play area and a sculptural wood and steel canopy. A community garden is nestled in a sunny patch just behind one of the buildings, easily accessed by residents. A large community room located in the main building opens out onto the courtyard space to allow for indoor/outdoor community gatherings. Just adjacent and fronting both the lobby and courtyard are the centrally located property management offices providing residents with very visible access to on-site staff.

Helping to revitalize the economic development of the area is a street level 2,000 sq ft community-based market and café due to open mid 2017. The new marketplace/café and small public plaza will activate the corner, helping to create a safe space for community gathering. The commercial space is part of Alameda County’s economic development strategy for a food hub for small local businesses. Plans include a market which will provide fresh, healthy food options and a series of small kiosks for local food entrepreneurs to showcase their products.

Ashland Place received a Platinum GreenPoint Rating. The project site is in close proximity to multiple modes of transit including main bus lines and BART. Sustainable features include the use of sustainably harvested wood, solar thermal hot water heating, Energy Star appliances in all units, energy-efficient lighting, recycled content carpet, natural linoleum, low-flow faucets, low or no-VOC paints, and draught tolerant landscaping.

Awards + Publications

California Economy Reporting, www.caeconomy.org,  March 14, 2016 , “Alameda County affordable housing complex aims to rejuvenate block, local economy”, Ashland Place, San Leandro, CA
Finalist, Reader's Choice Awards, Affordable Housing Finance, "Ashland Place Adds to Community Revitalization Efforts in Bay Area", July 1st, 2016, Ashland Place, San Leandro, CA.