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  • Hudson Sangree

    The Ridgeway Studios on 12th street are 22 affordable studio apartments for workers in the central city, refitted from a rundown century-old hotel that has languished for years.

  • Hudson Sangree

    These are the Ridgeway Studios on 12th St. They are 22 affordable apartments for workers in the central city with full kitchens and baths that rent for $350-$450 a month. The building is a century old and was last used as a single room occupancy hotel, badly rundown.

Boarded up hotel rehabbed as modern studios for low-income workers

Published: Monday, May. 19, 2014 - 9:10 pm

A century-old building in downtown Sacramento that became a rundown hotel, then sat boarded up and vacant for the past seven years, was unveiled Monday as a block of 22 affordable studio apartments with sleek architectural touches.

“This truly is much-needed affordable housing for people who are working downtown,” said developer Ali Youssefi, of Sacramento-based CFY Development.

The Ridgeway Studios, on 12th Street, are among a growing number of housing units in the central city that have replaced shabby hotel rooms with modern, livable quarters for formerly homeless and low-income residents. They include a 150-unit glass-and-brick apartment tower at Seventh and H streets that opened last year and the 104-apartment Hotel Berry, at Eighth and L streets, which reopened in the fall of 2012 after a $25 million facelift.

The projects are part of the city’s effort to to revitalize the downtown area while continuing to maintain a supply of affordable housing. In 2006, the city adopted an ordinance aimed at ensuring a continued supply of single-occupancy rooms downtown. It requires that 712 units remain for low-income residents in the city core.

To that end, the city has contributed hefty subsidies in recent years to revamping units for low-income tenants. The Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency contributed $10.1 million to the Hotel Berry renovation. The agency devoted about $1.2 million in federal funds toward Ridgeway Studios’ $6.9 million price tag. The cost of the latest project works out to nearly $314,000 per apartment.

The before-and-after photographs displayed in Monday’s open house at Ridgeway told the story of the building’s renovation. The four-story structure was built around 1912 as lodging for Sacramento workers. Over time it fell into disrepair, with a crumbling facade and 58 dingy hotel rooms. Residents shared common baths, and there were no usable kitchen facilities.

Today, each apartment has a full kitchen with granite counters and stainless-steel appliances. White-framed windows let in generous light. The building has a color scheme of gray, white and black, with exposed pipes, giving it a modern, upscale feel.

The apartments will rent for $350 to $450 each, and residents must earn from 30 percent to 40 percent of Sacramento County’s median income. That works out to roughly $15,000 to $20,000 for an individual, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Call The Bee’s Hudson Sangree, (916) 321-1191.

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