Historic affordable housing site and well-preserved neighborhood treasure
422 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Formerly homeless, special needs, and very low-income adults
Number of Units
Caritas Property Management
The Apollo Hotel and the Altamont Hotel are two permanent residence hotels operated by Mission Housing Development Corporation in the 16th Street/Valencia Street corridor. These facilities are two of the oldest and largest hotels in the neighborhood, both built in the Post-1906 reconstruction period. The Apollo and Altamont provide much needed permanent, supportive housing for formerly homeless and very low-income adults while preserving the character of the community. Mission Housing hopes to provide local hotel owners a model for how to provide stable Single Room Occupancy housing.
Acquisition and rehabilitation
Public comment from Mission District stakeholders identified stabilization of the area’s residential hotels as a top priority. In 1997, Mission Housing bought the once notorious drug haven that was the Apollo Hotel and immediately began a 14 month, $7 million remodel of the building. The remodel architecture was a collaboration between Gonzalo Castro of Design Studios in association with Asian Neighborhood Design, and Dennis L Singer Architect/Singer & Associates. The general contractor was Transworld Construction.
Original design features
The Apollo Hotel is a four-story, over ground floor, stucco-clad, wood frame 24,016 sq. ft. residential hotel building on a brick foundation. It was constructed in 1908 on a 6,875 sq. ft. rectangular parcel. The architectural style is Classical Revival. The second, third, and fourth stories feature a sculpted bay in each building bay. A single window is located between the second and third building bays. The windows have simple wood surrounds, and are banded across the lintels and sills. The windows are double hung vinyl. The façade is divided by a beltcourse between the first and second floors. The wide, bracketed cornice extends beyond the depth of the projecting bays.
Upgrades and redesign
In the 1997 remodel, thirty residential units were demolished to create common areas — a kitchen, dining area and television lounge — on each floor. The rooms on the three living floors were completely redone, adding new plumbing and a small refrigerator to each. The residence hallways were furnished with bright hardwood floors. The ground floor entry area is tile-covered. Some of the ground floor area originally used as commercial space was gutted to create offices for the building managers and resident service providers. A library and large common room with hardwood flooring were added. A deck was added to the flat roof, with room for a rooftop garden used by the residents.
Supportive housing environment
After the 1997 renovation, the professional residential management staff of Mission Housing established on-site programs and support systems for the hotel’s special needs and formerly homeless residents. An array of local service providers and advocates are also contracted. Residents collaborate with on-site staff to promote a stable, viable resident community.
There is 890 sq. ft. of commercial space with frontage along the Valencia St. side of the structure. To date, the space is occupied by a retail operation enjoying brisk business and making an outstanding contribution to the fabric of the community. The below market-rate lease helps fund resident services in the building.
Part of San Francisco history
The construction of the Apollo Hotel in 1908 (originally a lodging house known as the Rio Hotel) represents the first wave of redevelopment in the Inner Mission North survey area. After the destruction wrought by the earthquake and fire of April 1906 many residential, residential-over-commercial, and small-scale commercial structures were built between 1906 and 1913. The original architect firm was Sulton & Werke; the original owner was Alice Campbell. The Apollo Hotel has remained materially unchanged from the time it was erected.
The acquisition and subsequent rehab of the Apollo Hotel was funded using a Community Development Block Grant from the Mayor’s Office of Housing and a variety of loans and grants from public and private entities.