Senior housing planned at former naval base in Alameda

Island City development to feature 64 units, with 16 reserved for veterans

A photo illustration of Island City Development's Vanessa Cooper and the former naval air station in Alameda (Getty, Alameda Point)
A photo illustration of Island City Development's Vanessa Cooper and the former naval air station in Alameda (Getty, Alameda Point)

Nonprofit developer Island City Development is bringing 64 senior living housing units to Alameda, according to plans filed with the city.

Island City is an affiliate of the public agency, The Housing Authority of the City of Alameda, which received a $20.6 million grant for North Housing Senior Apartments from the California Department of Housing and Community Development.

The senior living project is part of a larger masterplan for a mixed-income affordable housing development in Alameda that features 586 units of housing. In 2019, the AHA was awarded 12 acres of land on the north end of the city.

The land was previously owned by the AHA in the 1940s before being occupied by the U.S. Navy for decades. The Navy donated the land to the AHA, and the agency has said that 25 percent of the project, or 16 senior units, will be reserved for veterans in need of supportive housing.

“AHA and its affiliate ICD are currently focusing on fulfilling the commitment to the U.S. Navy through the creation of 90 permanent supportive housing units in the first phase,” the North Housing project’s website says.

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The senior housing development will be located at the former naval air station near main street, and will have 40 studios, 23 one-bedroom apartments, and a two-bedroom apartment for an onsite manager. The units will be tailored to individuals who are 62 years of age and older. North Housing residents will have amenities that include a community room, indoor mailroom/lobby, on-site parking, on-site laundry room and bike parking.

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There have been multiple senior housing projects moving through the pipeline in the East Bay as the baby boomer generation demand is going up and vacancy remains down. The owners of a Christian center in Oakland plan to redevelop the building into 50 units of senior living, while Washington-based SRM Development plans to bring nearly 200 units of housing to the Oakland waterfront. SRM also plans to build 160 units in Hayward with a five-story building.

The need for senior housing in California will become even more apparent in the coming years. The population of middle-income older adults in California is set to increase more than 60 percent by 2033, reaching 1.6 million people. Of that group, more than half probably will lack the financial resources to afford assisted living and medical care in the next decade. And if home equity is not accounted for, about 90 percent will struggle to afford private-pay assisted living at current rates of $75,000 annually, according to a report by The University of Chicago.