Posts Tagged ‘Mercury News’

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.




MHC Gets Reprieve – But for How Long?

February 13th, 2017 Comments off

The Blue Bonnet Mobile Home Park. Credit: Flickr.

In California, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most expensive places to live in the state. Some one-bedroom apartments in downtown San Francisco can start at $4000 per month.

South of San Francisco, in the city of Sunnyvale, one of the last affordable housing havens in the area is in trouble.

Blue Bonnet Mobile Home Park is surrounded by newer, more expensive townhomes and apartments, and, according to the Mercury News, last February residents were notified that the community would be converted into a residential development.

A company called East Dunne Investors LLC, based out of nearby Morgan Hill, submitted a preliminary review application with the city detailing plans for 60 three-story townhomes.

This news left residents of Blue Bonnet nervous and unsure of their place in the Santa Clara Valley.

I feel like I’m being kicked in the gut and thrown out in the street,” said Alfonso Gonales, who has lived in the community with his wife Silvia for 10 years.


Alfonso Gonzales, with his wife Silvia. Credit: Mercury News.

The Sunnyvale City Council was set to review the application on January 24th, but an attorney for a number of Blue Bonnet residents told the council that they had not been given sufficient time to review a conversion impact report for the park. The report is required by the city before a manufactured home community closes, and it lays out how the former residents will be compensated for their homes and assisted in finding new places to live.

Gonzales and fellow Blue Bonnet residents have been given an extra month to review the report.

Should the council approve the report, residents would receive the monetary assistance amounts proposed in the report, then the property owner would be able to close the community.

A report from the city of Sunnyvale shows that Blue Bonnet and nearby Aloha Mobile Village are the only two manufactured home communities in the city that have residential and not “manufactured home exclusive” zoning. This means that they can be converted more easily than other communities.

City documents show that the average relocation assistance for manufactured home owners is $127,994, which includes a rent subsidy, moving costs, first and last deposit and the value of their home. For residents who rent their homes, the total would be $30,778.

We’re invested in these,” said homeowner Mary Lou Clark. “We’re not in apartments; we own these homes and we are losing our investments and the potential to do better.”

They have a right to sell, but give us adequate compensation,” said Gonzales.


Sunnyvale, shaded in red. Credit: Google.

In the hyper expensive San Francisco Bay Area, Blue Bonnet residents say that they are concerned that they won’t be able purchase another manufactured home anywhere in the area, and may be forced out of the area entirely.

I am a real estate professional and own my own property management company in Cupertino, and after much research, I found only 45 active listings in Sunnyvale for mobile homes. Only two are under $100,000, which is what a majority of the families were offered,” said Natalie Swarkis, daughter of Blue Bonnet resident Vincent Swarkis, during the recent council meeting.

Many of the residents are on fixed incomes and would not qualify for apartments that might require three times the amount of monthly rent needed to sign a lease.

Public records obtained by the Mercury News show that Sue Chuang purchased Blue Bonnet in 2005. While she is still listed as the owner, East Dunne Investors LLC is in the process of purchasing the property according to the conversion impact report.

Last November, the city’s housing and human services committee voted that the conversion impact report was inadequate and requested a more detailed description of how the relocation assistance described in the report “will ensure that all residents will be able to obtain adequate housing.” ##

(Image credits are as shown above.)


RC Williams, for Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by RC Williams to the Daily Business News for MHProNews