City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # 030615
Former Church Building to be Rehabilitated to Create Senior Housing
Jacqueline Medina

City of Long Beach
Beth Laski

Thomas Safran & Associates

Today, the adaptive reuse process began for rehabilitating the former Immanuel Church, 3215 E. 3rd St., into a new affordable senior housing development.  Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal, The Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC), Thomas Safran & Associates, and Clifford Beers Housing, Inc. participated in the celebration.

"This development is a testament to the City's commitment to serving the needs of our diverse community and ensuring the affordability and availability of the City's housing stock," said Mayor Robert Garcia.  "Such reuse efforts restore vitality to unused sites and help make our city better."

“The Immanuel Senior Housing development will be a great addition to the community and further supports our goals of neighborhood revitalization,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.  “The rehabilitation of this building will provide a quality, affordable living space for seniors with limited income, while also helping to make our community safer and more attractive.”

This adaptive reuse project will compliment the neighborhood with preservation of the structure’s rich exterior façade.  The existing sanctuary space will be repurposed as a community room, consisting of a kitchen, library, and fully restored pipe organ.  Additional amenities will include a secured entry with intercom, a fitness room, laundry facilities, and secure parking.  Residents will have access to senior services, such as adult education, health and wellness programs.

"It does take a village, and we are appreciative and grateful to our partners, especially the community and Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.  Together, we have made a commitment to restore and revitalize this cultural site, preserve its architectural heritage, and provide housing for people who are most in need,” said Andrew Gross, President of Thomas Safran & Associates.

Immanuel Senior Housing will help to create a safe, healthy, and livable neighborhood by maintaining rents affordable to qualified seniors over the age of 62 years.  The three-story apartment complex will consist of 24 one-bedroom units with rents starting at $458.  One additional unit will be reserved for an on-site manager. 

“Immanuel Senior Housing represents the goals of The LBCIC by providing sustainable housing and removing blight, while maintaining a strong network of viable neighborhoods, thus making Long Beach a better place to live, work, and visit,” said John Thomas, LBCIC Chair.

Built in 1922, the Immanuel Church building housed traditional American Baptist Association worship services and was later operated as a community center before becoming vacant in 2012.  

“Transforming this beloved community church into new, much-needed senior residences presented many design challenges, but also yielded many unusual rewards.  We were able to preserve beautiful, stained-glass windows, along with huge, exposed trusses, and, of course, its magnificent historic organ.  It was very gratifying for us to find innovative ways of maintaining this building’s role in the surrounding neighborhood, while providing drastically essential new housing,” said Wade Killefer, FAIA, a partner of Killefer Flamming Architects.

As part of the project scope, the adjacent 1920s-era craftsman residence located at 304 Obispo Ave. will be preserved and relocated to Termino Avenue for single-family occupancy within the City.

The apartment building will be constructed to meet Build It Green’s Platinum GreenPoint Rated New Home Multifamily (NHFM) certification standards, and is expected to be completed in summer 2016.

The $12.1-million development will be financed through a combination of Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity from Union Bank; an Infill Grant from the California State Department of Housing and Community Development; a loan of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME Investment Partnership Program HOME funds from the City of Long Beach/ LBCIC; a loan from the Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles and; funds from the Federal Home Loan Bank.

About The Long Beach Community Investment Company

The Long Beach Community Investment Company (LBCIC) assists in the delivery of housing and neighborhood revitalization services, use of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, and continued administration of the City's affordable housing funds. 

About Thomas Safran & Associates

Thomas Safran & Associates (TSA) has built more than 5,000 units of rental housing for seniors and families in California, with a keen focus on excellent design and extensive landscaping that makes each development fit in – and improve – the neighborhood.  For 40 years, TSA has been dedicated to enhancing the world in which we live and enriching the lives of those who reside in our buildings.  TSA has received such distinguished awards as the Golden Nugget Award for best mixed use and affordable housing; Lt. Governor Commendation for outstanding service in the public interest; Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing award, recognizing TSA for Project of the Year; Urban Environmental Design award for TSA’s housing project design; and commendations from the California State Assembly and the State of California Senate, among many others.

About Clifford Beers Housing, Inc.

Named after Mental Health America’s hero and founder, Clifford Beers Housing Inc. (CBH) is an organization that has been created as a Community Housing Development Organization to develop affordable housing for individuals and families with limited incomes, including households that are either homeless or at-risk of homelessness and have a member living with a mental illness.  This model for affordable supportive housing focuses on reducing homelessness and increasing community reintegration, assisting those with special needs to live independently in their communities.