Corsair Flats, a 60-unit affordable housing community for seniors and veterans, has opened its doors at the former Naval Air Station Alameda in Alameda, California. The property’s name is inspired by U.S. Navy Vought F4U Corsair airplane on display nearby.
Jeffrey Peters Corsair Flats, a 60-unit affordable housing community for seniors and veterans, has opened its doors at the former Naval Air Station Alameda in Alameda, California. The property’s name is inspired by U.S. Navy Vought F4U Corsair airplane on display nearby.

A new affordable housing development has been built to meet the needs of seniors, including formerly homeless veterans, in Alameda, California.

Developed by Eden Housing, Corsair Flats is part of the redevelopment of the former Naval Air Station Alameda that closed more than 20 years ago.

The 60-unit property for residents 62 and older is the first of two affordable residential communities that will be completed by Eden Housing at Alameda Point’s Site A.

"I am thrilled for the low-income seniors who are moving into Corsair Flats, beautifully designed affordable housing," said Alameda mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft. "It is incredibly fitting that this development, the first new housing to open at the former Naval Air Station Alameda since the base closed in 1997, sets aside 28 units for veterans exiting homelessness. I am so proud that the city of Alameda is not only building new affordable housing in the middle of the worst housing crisis of our time, but we are building it for the people who need it most."

The second residential community, a 70-unit development targeting low-income families, is expected to be completed in early 2022, adjacent to Corsair Flats. KTGY Architecture + Planning is the architect and designer of both properties.

“Eden is proud to provide 60 new affordable homes for seniors, formerly unhoused individuals, and veterans exiting homelessness at Corsair Flats, our first community in the city of Alameda,” said Linda Mandolini, president of Eden Housing. “In partnership with Operation Dignity and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Eden will provide not just housing, but housing paired with services to help residents find stability and age in place with dignity.”

The senior apartment community includes 48 one-bedroom and 12 two-bedroom apartment homes targeting households earning up to 20% to 60% of the Alameda County area median income. Thirty units will serve seniors experiencing homelessness, of which 28 are set aside for veterans exiting homelessness through California’s Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program. The majority of the veterans will be supported by the HUD Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program in partnership with Alameda Housing Authority. Supportive services will be delivered to the residents through a collaboration between Operation Dignity, Eden Housing Resident Services, and the VA.

The path to redevelopment started in 1997 when the Navy suspended operations at the station and the city adopted its first five-year implementation plan for Alameda Point in 1999. Ten years later, the Department of the Navy relinquished its control of the former NAS Alameda for its eventual conveyance to Alameda. In November 2014, Alameda Point Partners was chosen as the developer for the 68-acre parcel known as Site A. The site is set to include 800 housing units with a mix of retail and office space, as well as new streets, sidewalks, parks, and a ferry terminal.

Located in the heart of the Alameda Point Master Plan, Corsair Flats serves as a transition between three-story townhomes on one block and a six-story, mixed-use, multifamily building on another. Corsair Flats’ two residential buildings are separated by a landscaped mid-block parklet.

The ground floor for both apartment communities includes amenity spaces (manager office, service coordinator office, computer labs, and bike storage), units, and structured on-grade garage. The upper floors (second and fourth) wrap around an open courtyard located on the podium level. The family building podium level consists of the community room and landscaped active courtyard. The senior building podium level also has an active landscaped courtyard. Both of these courtyard spaces have a visual connection with each other.

Financing for the approximately $36 million development includes low-income housing tax credits from the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee and Alameda County Measure A1 bond loan. The partners include Union Bank, the state Department of Housing and Community Development, Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, Alameda County, the city of Alameda, and the Alameda Housing Authority.

According to Jessica Musick, principal in KTGY’s Oakland office, Alameda Point senior apartments and family apartments meet the community’s vision for an inclusive redevelopment. With a focus on time and material efficiency, the new senior apartment development set record construction schedules by using panelized floor and wall systems. This delivery strategy reduced the construction schedule resulting in a 15-month construction timeline from groundbreaking to completion, Musick said.

Another design innovation that Musick notes is addressing the issue of the rising seas. “Located on the San Francisco Bay within close proximity to a future ferry stop, the entire Alameda Point master plan anticipates sea-level rise. As a result, all structured parking is above grade and located behind active use or residential units,” Musick continues. “Ground-level residential floors are elevated above the flood plain and designed for accessibility.”

Site A’s master developer, Alameda Point Partners, is a joint venture between managing partner Trammell Crow Residential, a division of Dallas-based Crow Holdings, Los Angeles-based developer Cypress Equity Investments, and San Francisco Bay Area-based commercial developer srmERNST Development Partners.