Nominated by: Affirmed Housing
Location: San Diego, Calif.
Developer: Affirmed Housing
Architect: Basis Architecture
General Contractor: HA Builder
Interior Designer: Affirmed Housing
Photographer: Applied Photography
Project Website: Zephyr
By converting a neighborhood problem — a rundown Motel 6 — into a neighborhood asset as a home for formerly homeless veterans, Zephyr is a win-win for the Grantville neighborhood. Affirmed Housing, working with HA Builders and Basis Architecture, took the old motel with its attendant restaurant, a former Denny’s, and renovated it to create a new community for 84 deserving veterans and one onsite property manager. The property and its two buildings were entirely transformed in less than three years of development — two years sooner than a ground-up development would have taken. In addition to the benefits to the Grantville community, the project is environmentally sound. Nothing is greener than the re-use of existing structures. The motel rooms were completely remodeled and altered to become apartment units with kitchenettes. Tuck-under parking at the bottom level, along with back of house areas, were converted into new units, and building infrastructure was modernized or replaced. The building exteriors feature new community balconies, circulation spaces with a new elevator, and all-new architectural features that practically and visually balance the residents’ privacy with opportunities for social interaction while linking the two buildings together. The former Denny’s now houses a light-filled community room, computer area with library, TV lounge and teaching kitchen — all fully accessible. PATH San Diego, the onsite service provider, has offices here, as well as a property manager office for Solari Enterprises. PATH provides onsite, wraparound services, which include individual case management, multiple classes, health services and support groups. New site features include landscape areas that provide opportunities for the residents to be social and outdoors. Trellised seating areas, community gardens and walks are all provided on site as an integral feature of the community.