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Dignity Housing West, Inc. | DEVELOPER EXPERIENCE

Dignity Housing West, Inc. has been operating and developing affordable housing units in the City of Oakland since 1991. Its first project was the construction of 26-unit James Lee Court Apartment located at 690-15th Street, Oakland, 94612 with construction completed in 1992. The projected was funded through tax credits, City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency and State HCD. DHW was a Co-Developer with a 50% development agreement with OCHI.DHW provided Project Management services from acquisition, tax-credit, financing and construction. OCHI was the financial guarantee on the loan. James Lee Court Lee Court just finished extensive rehabilitation work in February 2013.

Harp Plaza Apartments located at 430-28th Street was a new construction of a 20 unit building that was completed in 1995 with funding provided by Tax credits, City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency, California Community Reinvestment Corporation, & Oakland Housing Authority. Dignity Housing was
the sole developer from acquisition, financing, through construction.

The Henry Robinson Building located at 559-16th street Oakland was an acquisition/rehabilitation of a 60 unit building completed in 1992 and funded by State of California, Alameda County, City of Oakland Redevelopment Agency, City of Oakland Housing, US Red Cross and FEMA. Dignity Housing West was the lead developer partnered with the Travelers Aid who was to provide supportive services for this project. The structure was a 50-50 Lease Ownership from the City of Oakland.


Mandela Transit Village at West Oakland BART located at 7th Street – The Mandela Transit Village at West Oakland BART, featuring the Historic 7th Street Blues Entertainment District, is an urban transit village development comprised of approximately 3,000 housing on 5 key parcels adjacent to the West Oakland station of the regional light rail transit system. 1357 5th St. site will have 540 units; CalTrans site has 563 units; and BART site will have 532 units.

West Oakland is a diverse community that attracts a range of family types from diverse social and economic backgrounds. The transit village development sites are well suited to mixed-income housing development which caters to a mix of household types and income levels. The two main housing unit types to be developed at the transit-oriented development sites are one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, which are designed to serve one-, two-, and three-person families, which is the customer and market that prefers transit-friendly, urban living.

New residents will live in high-quality new housing that meets LEED standards. Shoppers will be able to stroll down a street lined with local and regional serving retail stores. WODG’s vision ultimately will bring together people of all races and incomes who will enjoy living in a fully restored, vibrant and active community.
The project plan features local community ownership through the involvement of West Oakland-based community development corporations and a resident ownership mechanism. This project will create new economic opportunities for families living in West Oakland, the community that is intended to be the direct beneficiaries of the Mandela Transit Village, a master-planned, neighborhood redevelopment.

Development Program:
The development program for the Mandela Transit Village consists of approximately 3,000 housing units, supporting retail and required parking on seventeen acres of property fronting 7th Street in West Oakland. The proposed development includes coordination of all design approvals, property acquisition, new building construction, and tenant improvements. Tasteful, inspired architecture with LEED rated buildings is envisioned for the entire project, which can be constructed within 5 to 7 years of investment. According to the West Oakland Specific Plan being prepared by JRDV Architects on behalf of the City of Oakland, the Mandela Transit Village sites can accommodate up to 3,000 housing units with approximately 2,000 parking spaces and street level retail. The development plan for the Mandela Transit Village is for new construction of high-rise and mid-rise residential mixed-use buildings. As a rule, the West Oakland Specific Plan
provides California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) approvals for the recommended unit counts, building heights and density outlined in the plan to fast-track entitlements for the property within the entire study area.

West Oakland Development Group is the developer team that has assembled the property to develop the Mandela Transit Village at West Oakland BART. The WODG developer team is comprised of West Oakland based organizations, each with significant contributions that can be made to assure a successful project. Our team has both the ability and common interest to deliver a top quality, cost effective project. Our team brings a proven track record and exceptional relationships in Oakland to achieve a coordinated site acquisition, obtain entitlements, deliver local support for the project and meet all project objectives. A joint venture development partner will be selected to construct the vertical improvements for the Mandela Transit Village once entitlements are completed.

The WODG developer team is a partnership of four (4) key groups in West Oakland that propose to build, own and operate the project to be developed at the Mandela Transit Village at West Oakland BART. The team members include the Alliance for West Oakland Development, House of Change, DCSI and Tomorrow’s Answer representing the local developer, nonprofit partners and community organizations based in West Oakland. Our team is focused on quality completion and timely delivery of the project within budget. A brief description of each member of the development partnership is provided in the below.

Alliance for West Oakland Development is a 501 c 3 nonprofit corporation registered in the State of California. The mission of the Alliance for West Oakland Development, a Community Development Corporation, is to initiate, promote, and facilitate the development of blighted residential and commercial districts in West Oakland, California, boosting opportunities for long-time residents, and preserving the cultural roots of the area. The Alliance serves as the champion for creating local ownership and sustainable community-initiated economic development projects that capture the cultural heritage of the new emerging West Oakland Community.

DCSI, Inc.
DCSI, Inc. is a privately-held California corporation dedicated to the development of high quality housing, commercial, retail and entertainment properties, which are held for investment and self-managed in its long-term ownership portfolio. DCSI has particular expertise in tax credit financed affordable and mixed income housing projects. DCSI will serve as the local developer for the Mandela Transit Village. DCSI, Inc. prides itself on continuing to build its reputation as a local firm, retaining local experienced professionals for its projects, designing and building enduring first-class commercial properties by emphasizing a strong attention to material workmanship, finish and detail.

House of Change, Inc.
Based in West Oakland, House of Change, Inc. offers a clean and sober living environment and comprehensive support services to disenfranchised men that have been living at-risk or experiencing life altering situations (i.e. incarceration, drug addiction). HOC’s long-term transitional living facility provides men with tools for restored living. These include good health, spiritual education, family reunification and support from our staff to break the cycle of uncertainty and destitution. Services provided by HOC include clean and sober environment, basic life skills, two meals per day; educational, financial and health career planning; and counseling and case management. House of Change (HOC) is a 501.C.3 nonprofit organization founded in 2004. HOC provides transitional and supportive housing to men. Our clean and sober environment is supervised by caring professionals who are committed to seeing a positive change occur in the men. Upon departure from HOC, individuals can re-enter society on a stable basis where they can continue to obtain self-motivated goals through their newly acquired skills.

Tomorrow’s Answer Youth Development Program (TMA)
TMA is a civic minded Youth Development Program. A group working to help young people gain Jobs and leadership skills. Example our youngest staff member in the organization, Samson Meal has been with TMA for over 12 years. He has worked around the office doing basic tasks and learning board skills at monthly meetings. Samson Meal is now gainfully employed as a Longshoremen and he leads the organization as president in a number of community projects. We give many youth truck driving lessons through parking hundreds of diesel trucks at our lot 1357 5th St. Oakland CA. TMA trains youth and helps them get their DMV license. TMA works in a number of other areas training youth including; the Bay Area Healthy Neighborhood Festival (BAHN Festival),

West Oakland Option Community Patrol (WOCOP), Agriculture through the (Brotherhood Riders) pig farming on our 20 acre ranch in Stockton and Basic development through the Workforce Collaborative; warehouse training driving fork lifts and working to gain the Oakland Army Base Workforce Center distributing jobs.

Summary of Developer Team Qualifications
The members of the developer team were handpicked based on their ability to collectively insure the quality, successful completion of the project at reasonable cost. WODG’s team has developed deep relationships in the West Oakland community during the past 25 years. At the same time, our team has demonstrated success and expertise in the real estate development industry in the Bay Area, having acquired and entitled properties, managed projects in all phases, and provided robust returns on investment in Oakland, San Francisco and Richmond, California. The WODG team offers distinct strengths with the track record of West Oakland-based businesses involved, and can assure a holistic approach to this project with multilateral support from community residents.
The WODG team will be involved in all aspects of the project including closing on site acquisition, design, construction and finance. The WODG team intends to establish a single purpose limited liability company (“West Oakland Development Group, LLC”) to develop the properties that comprise the Mandela Transit Village.