Peter and Susanna Pau, the quiet power running development company, Sand Hill Property, are the new long-term leaseholders behind turning Hotel California into low-income housing, an official from Palo Alto Housing Corporation has confirmed.
The longtime hotel on Ash Street in the California Avenue Business District will be converted into 20 single-room-occupancy units. Persons with incomes between $10,000 and $40,000 a year will be eligible to rent the units, which will cost $400 to $800 a month, depending on income level, said Candice Gonzalez, CEO of the Palo Alto Housing Corporation, the local nonprofit that will be managing the units.
Sand Hill Property did not return a request for comment. But Gonzalez said that Susanna Pau has long wanted to find real estate that would be appropriate for Palo Alto's low-income residents, but Pau prefers to remain low-key.
"We've talked over the years how to serve the low-income population," Gonzalez said, and when this opportunity came up a year ago, the Paus jumped on it.
"It's all being privately funded and there is no need to rezone the site. That simplified process -- it's almost a windfall," Gonzalez said.
The city needs thousands of units to meet low-income housing demand, she said. When the Housing Corporation opened its waitlist for its senior housing project at the Sheridan, 500 people applied in one day and many camped out the night before -- and there weren't any units immediately available, she said.
"All of our properties have hundreds of people on the waiting list at each of them. At the lowest income levels the units don't turn over for five to eight years," Gonzalez said.
Applications for the studios at Hotel California are being accepted now, and residents could start moving in as soon as Aug. 20. Interested parties can call the Housing Corporation's main office at 650-321-9709. Once occupied, the Housing Corporation will evaluate which resident services to offer based on the residents' needs, such as health and wellness or employment assistance, she said.