Posts Tagged ‘bay area’

Google’s Going Modular Housing

June 15th, 2017 Comments off

GoogleGoingModularMercuryNewsManufacturedModularIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsAs Matthew Silver and RC Williams have previously reported, the San Francisco Bay Area is no stranger to high housing costs, and the fact that several are turning to manufactured, prefab and modular projects to help meet their needs.

So, it’s no surprise that as Google, like other employers, are struggling for affordable housing for workers, that the tech giant is turning to prefab/modular construction to help meet their needs.

The tech giant plans to buy 300 units of modular housing to serve as temporary employee accommodations on its planned “Bay View” campus at NASA’s Moffett Field,” says the Mercury News.

Google thinks the savings may be in the 20-50% range over conventional building. While that would seem high to those in the factory built housing world, given the soaring costs in the Bay Area, might that be possible?

JohnIgoeManufacturedModularHousingDailyBusinessNewsResearchReportsDataMHProNewsAnything that can help us to move forward with a greater knowledge of how we can produce housing GoogleGoingModularMercuryPrefabWorkersApartmentsNewsManufacturedModularIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsmore effectively is something we’re interested in,” said John Igoe, director of design and construction at Google, per Fox Business. “We absolutely are confident that it will work. Hopefully it doesn’t become false bravado.”

The deal is likely to be in the $25 million to $30 million range, said Rick Holliday, founder and chief executive of Factory OS. It would be that firm’s first order for the company.

Modular housing could be “a real game changer” for the Bay Area affordable housing crunch, said Matt Regan.  He’s the  senior vice-president of public policy at the Bay Area Council.  Google is a member business in that group.

In the factory environment you have more controls and more oversight, and it’s more efficient,” Regan said.

The end product is of the highest quality. It’s impossible to tell the difference between a modular construction project and a traditional project, other than that the modular goes up much quicker.”

What seems certain is that the status of factory building will get a lift from this and other projects, here in the U.S., and around the world. ##

(Image credits are as shown above, and when provided by third parties, are shared under fair use guidelines.)

SoheylaKovachManufacturedHomeLivingNewsManufacturedHousingIndustryDailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-Submitted by Soheyla Kovach to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.




Billionaire Sees Shipping Containers as Homeless Solution

April 11th, 2017 Comments off

Homeless encampment residents watch it being destroyed in San Jose, CA. Credit: Bloomberg.

In the San Francisco Bay Area of California, housing, along with most everything else, is very expensive. In many cities in the region, this disparity creates a toxic combination: an affordable housing crunch and rampant homelessness.

A billionaire in the area believes that the solution lies in repurposing shipping containers.

According to HousingWire, Santa Clara based real estate developer John Sobrato recently unveiled a proposal to build 200 micro apartments for both homeless and low-income renters, utilizing shipping containers, turning them into units between 160 and 240 square feet with kitchenettes and bathrooms with showers.

I think it’s time to turn my attention to creating a very cost-effective solution to housing the homeless and very low-income people,” said Sobrato.


John Sabrato. Credit: Forbes.

Instead of sleeping in a pup tent or under an overpass, Santa Clara homeless folks will have a clean, dignified, safe place to call home.”

Sobrato plans to lease a 2.5-acre plot of city-owned land three miles from the San Francisco 49ers football stadium, which the city acquired in 2005 with the intention of creating affordable housing.

Funding for that plan fell through, and in October of last year Sobrato approached the city with his idea.

Per Bloomberg, Sobrato asked for a 57-year lease at the cost of $1 a year. In return, his group, the Sobrato Organization, would build and own the apartments, then lease them back to Santa Clara County, which would hire property management and homeless service providers.


The proposed area for development. Credits: Google, The Petition Site.

The project, called Innovation Place, would be projected to open in 2018, with half of the apartments being rented to the homeless, and the other half being made available to renters earning between 50 and 80 percent of the area’s median income.



While many see Sobrato’s idea as noble, there are those that disagree. An anonymous petition began to circulate shortly after Sobrato presented his plan, and has 852 supporters.

While some may disagree, the numbers show that the need for affordable housing is the state is dire: 17 ballot measures were on the ballot last November dealing with affordable housing.

The Daily Business News has covered a number of potential NIMBY (Not-In-My-Back-Yard) stories recently, where current residents appear to be working to keep manufactured homes or other affordable housing options for communities out.

Most notable is the case in Aiken, South Carolinawhere Councilman Danny Feagin was quoted as saying “As long as it keeps the mobile home parks [sic] out, I think the folks would be satisfied,” in relation to a proposed rezoning ordinance.

For more on shipping containers being used to solve the growing affordable housing crisis around the world, click here. ##


(Image credits are as shown above.)



RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

As Community Floods, Residents Prepare to Leave

February 10th, 2017 Comments off

Residents at Balls Ferry Fishing Resort & Mobile Home Park wading through flood waters. Credit: Record-Searchlight.

The residents of Balls Ferry Fishing Resort & Mobile Home Park in Anderson, California, were dealt a blow by heavy rains this week, which caused the nearby Sacramento River to crest and flood the community.

According to the Record-Searchlight, heavy rain slammed into the area on Monday and into Tuesday, flooding countless areas throughout Shasta County, including the community.


I slept in this morning and management notified us the water level was coming up and we should get ready to leave just in case,” said resident Jonathan Williams.

Water continued to creep up to the skirting of at least a dozen homes, rising 14 inches in less than 12 hours.

I’ve never seen it do this,” said Richard Bremer, 75, who has lived in the community for about 11 years. His home was safe from the flooding, just a few feet from the water’s edge.

It crested one time about 10 years ago but not like this.


Credit: Record-Searchlight.

Even with sandbags lining the entrances of most homes in the community, some still had damage.

For Williams, whose home sits at a high point away from the floodwaters, he said that management has made a real effort to help residents out.


Credit: KRCR.

I’ve lived in a lot of trailer parks [sic],” said Williams.

This park [sic], because of management’s efforts and the owner’s efforts, is a really tight-knit community.

Neighbors also pitched in on Tuesday, helping those who could move their homes and belongings away from floodwaters to higher ground.

When this started happening, a lot of people don’t have trucks that will pull their unit, their RVs. So it’s kind of important we all pull together,” said Williams.

We’re kind of like a family here. It’s not a trailer park [sic], it’s a family park [sic].”

Heavy rain is in the forecast for the area through Saturday, with 24 areas under advisories, watches or warnings for flooding. Winter storms in the region have delivered heavy rains and flooding from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Nevada state line. ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Home Sales Take a Tumble in California

August 17th, 2016 Comments off

housingwire credit postedDailyBusinessNewsMHProNewsWhile June home sales in California hit nearly a four-year high, they dropped sharply in July from June, according to housingwire, due to low inventories and decreasing affordability reports the California Association of Realtors (CAR).

Sales of existing single-family detached homes in June hit a seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of 433,600 (revised), but dropped 4.1 percent in July to a SAAR of 415,840. July’s numbers were down 5.1 percent from July sales 2015 when the SAAR reached 438,230.

Also noteworthy, CAR says the median price of an existing single-family detached house fell by 1.8% in July to $509,830 from $519,410 in June—the report said this is the fourth consecutive month the statewide median price has stayed above $500k– although July’s median price was 3.9 percent higher than the median price in July 2015.

CAR President Pat Zicarelli said, “Even with a shortage of homes on the market, low rates and strong demand have been the norm. Some regions, such as the Bay Area, are seeing an uptick in inventory as high prices are motivating sellers to list their properties for sale. While this could ease the inventory somewhat, supply remains tight, and low affordability is expected to be an issue in the short term.” ##

(Image credit: housingwire–falling prices)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Modular Builder Zeta Closes Facility

March 28th, 2016 Comments off

modular two story being sited  excel homesAs MHProNews last reported March 10, 2016, Zeta Communities of Sacramento, Calif. was partnering with non-profit BRIDGE to build an affordable modular apartment building in San Leandro, the first of its kind in the Bay Area.

The apartments were set to be available to people who earn half of the median income in the area. So far, 18,000 applications have been received, underscoring the fact that a new home in the Bay Area can cost $700,000 to $800,000.

Now, however, according to bizjournals, green builder Zeta shuttered its factory in McClellan Park in Sacramento Tue., March 22, laying off 122 employees, notifying the state employment office that the closing was permanent. It’s unknown whether the company is still operating, as neither officials from Zeta nor from McClellan Park were allegedly available for comment. The company leases 91,000 square feet at McClellan. ##

(Photo credit: Excel Homes–modular two-story being sited)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.


Modular Apartment Complex will be Bay Area’s First

March 10th, 2016 Comments off

calif__san_francisco_modular_houing_project__kalw_dot_org__creditWith the cost in San Francisco to build a new home running around $700,000 to $800,000, thereby pricing many middle-income and working class people out of the market, one company has begun building modular apartment buildings.

BRIDGE is a non-profit developer, and as such can receive government funding and tax credits to built affordable housing, and it is partnering with the Zeta factory in Sacramento to build the modules, as informs MHProNews.

Howard Koenig, ZETA’s CEO, said, “I actually believe that we are a central solution to the affordable housing crisis.” He has seen a lot of modular builders come and go, often put off by banks that are reluctant to finance something unfamiliar.

Real estate, we’re a conservative industry, we move slow,” says Adhi Nagraj, director of development at BRIDGE housing. However, he said, “We felt like there were enough case studies of smaller modular projects that we could jump in and take the risks.” The two firms are partnering on an affordable development in San Leandro, the first of its kind in the Bay Area.

While developer Patrick Kennedy says, “There’s a large graveyard of bankrupt developers that pursued (modular),” he acknowledges the concept has a bright future but it is now in its infancy and mistakes are bound to happen. “When modular projects go wrong, they go wrong in a very big way and usually a very expensive way,” he says.

Meanwhile, the San Leandro project is moving forward for people who make half of the median income in the area. The housing will be home to families earning $40,000 a year. So far, 18,000 people have applied to live in this new development, which translates into thousands and thousands of residents in the Bay Area who continue to seek affordable housing. ##

(Photo credit:–modular apartment building in San Leandro, Calif.)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

CA County Issues Ordinance to Ban Manufactured Home Community Closure

November 18th, 2015 Comments off

san_mateo_ca_mhc__smdailyjournal__creditThe San Mateo County Board of Supervisors in California adopted an temporary urgency ordinance to prevent eight manufactured home communities (MHCs) from closing or converting for the next 45 days in an attempt to keep affordable housing available in the Bay Area. The Bay Area is one of the most expensive housing regions in the nation.

The initiative was spurred by the Carlyle Group’s acquiring an interest in Pacific Skies Estates, an MHC overlooking the Pacific where Carlyle intends to site luxury manufactured homes, as MHProNews reported Sept. 22, 2015.

According to a report by County Manager John Maltbie, the ban on the unincorporated areas of the county could extend for two years in order for staff to develop logistics for relocating MHC residents. While state law requires community owners to submit relocation impact reports to municipalities prior to closing, the condition of the home and the reluctance of some communities to accept older homes can stand in the way of relocation efforts.

The eight communities have 850 home sites but only 350 are occupied by MH. Recreational vehicles (RVs) occupy a number of the sites, according to smdailyjournal, but there are long waiting lists for communities that accept them. They would be covered by the moratorium as well. MHCs in San Mateo County are also covered by rent control.

Housing attorney Daniel Saver, with Community Legal Services of East Palo Alto, noting the importance of being proactive in such situations, said, “This is a potential threat to affordable housing and could be a displacement disaster. It’s good to address this in advance.##

(Photo credit: smdailyjournal–San Mateo County manufactured home community)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily business News-MHProNews.

Manufactured Homes a Bargain in Bay Area

April 6th, 2015 Comments off

mfg house   resident owned parks  californiaIn Mountain View, California Rod Fox and Emily Gwynn left their $2,540/month, 800 square-foot apartment and moved to a 1,370 square foot manufactured home (MH) in Adobe Wells Mobile Home Park in Sunnyvale, CA. In the Bay Area, where median home prices hit $782,000, they are paying about the same as for their old apartment, but the MH only cost $219,000 and they have three bedrooms and two baths, as well as homeownership.

Lee and Carmelita Clark sold their five-bedroom luxury home on a golf course in Vallejo for $475,000 to be near their children in the Bay Area. They could not afford home prices either, but they did find a manufactured home in the age-restricted Tropics Mobile Home Park in Union City, only 25 minutes from their family. For $222,000 they bought a 1,600 square foot MH with a fireplace and granite counter tops in the kitchen.

But manufactured homes are not the answer to the escalating house prices. No new MH communities have been built since the 1970s. Says Glenn Gilliam, president of Alliance Manufactured Homes, where both couples purchased their homes: “The mobile home market is saturated. You can’t buy land in Sunnyvale and build another mobile home park. Land in Sunnyvale is $5 million an acre.”

Some homes have been around for 30 or 40 years when these communities first opened. Alliance buys three or four older MH each week for reconditioning and resale, but from 2013 to 2014 sales of new homes increased 44 percent, from 114 to 164. The company expects annual sales to increase 15 to 20 percent. The sale price of homes in the larger Bay Area region has risen since 2009 from $209,000 to $289,000.

While MH do not appreciate the way site-built homes might, and the interest rate is often a few points higher, and the lack of new MH communities may put upward pressure on home prices and site rents, santacruzsentinel tells MHProNews Fox and Gwynn and the Clarks are pleased with the choices they have made. ##

(Photo credit: santacruzsentinel–California manufactured home)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com  Article submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily business News-MHProNews.

Manufactured Homes are the New Condos in Marin

July 14th, 2014 Comments off

With single-family home and condo prices rising in the San Francisco Bay area, along with rents, Marin real estate agent Laura Watts calls manufactured homes (MH) “the new condos,”according to For the first six months of this year compared to 2013 the median price of a manufactured home has risen 44 percent, to $135,000. Laura Cobb jumped at the opportunity to buy one for $200,000 overlooking a lagoon in San Rafael. The reasons for the increase, MHProNews has learned from Blaine Morris, the head of the Marin Association of Realtors, are firstly, prices were unnaturally low due to the 14-year litigation over rent control between Equity LifeStyle Properties and the city of San Rafael that lent uncertainty to MH values.

Secondly, the overall rise in prices in the Bay Area have been on a tear as housing began recovering, and with fewer and fewer affordable housing options, MH began rising also. Ms. Cobb’s home is in 396-homesite Contempo Marin, a community so big that sales there comprise 42 percent of all homes in Marin, says Watts. The highest price a home sold for there this year $310,000. ##

(Photo credit: Alan Dep/–Contempo Marin MHC in San Rafael, Calif.)