County Joins City in Plan to Buy Ocean Beach Apartments, Ramada Inn and 2 Other Hotels

by on May 24, 2023 · 0 comments

in Homelessness, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Gary Warth / San Diego Union-Tribune / May 23, 2023

A divided county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday agreed to authorize up to $32 million in loans toward the city of San Diego’s potential purchase of four residential properties that could be used to house more than 300 homeless people.

The city’s Housing Commission is considering buying the properties with money from the state’s Project Homekey program, and the purchases are contingent on receiving the grants. The latest round of Project Homekey funding provides $736 million in competitive grants statewide, with $34 million set aside for San Diego, which also is eligible to apply for a share of the total funds.

Construction of any housing with Project Homekey funds must be complete within 12 months of receiving the money, and units must be fully occupied within 15 months. The Housing Commission has unanimously backed the purchases as a way of quickly finding permanent housing for homeless people at a far cheaper cost than building new units. …

The properties being considered include three hotels and one apartment building.

One of the hotels is a 62-unit Ramada Inn on Midway Drive, which the Housing Commission agreed to pursue at its May 12 meeting when it unanimously agreed to apply for $18 million in Project Homekey funding. The estimated purchase price would be $11.6 million, equating to about $182,000 a unit, but adding kitchenettes and other upgrades would increase the overall cost to $29.5 million, or $469,000 a unit.

The city also is submitting a joint $4 million application with Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. to purchase a vacant 13-unit apartment building in Ocean Beach. Purchasing the building would cost $4.5 million, but rehabilitation expenses would increase the cost to $6.8 million, bringing the per-unit cost to $525,000.

The other two properties are a 107-unit Extended Stay America Hotel on Murphy Canyon Road for $40.7 million and a 140-unit Extended Stay America Hotel on Mission Valley Road for $52 million.

In all, the city is applying for $88.7 million in Project Homekey funds and would contribute $32.2 million for the purchases.

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