Grace Village Affordable Senior Apartments
Following years of declining membership, the remaining congregation of Grace Lutheran Church, in the middle of Santa Barbara’s bustling Upper State Street commercial district, voted to gift their property to a non-profit partnership in order to provide affordable housing for low-income senior citizens.
Thanks to the last congregation’s generosity, 58 seniors, including many formerly homeless seniors, and many formerly homeless veterans, now enjoy the dignity and comfort of their own home. The existing church was demolished to make room for 58 one-bedroom apartments, a manager’s unit, approximately 1,300 sf of community space and a large raised bed communal garden area. The building is designed in a modern aesthetic, in harmony with the vibrant surrounding business, shopping and emerging transit-oriented multi-family residential district. Half of the units include outdoor private patios or balconies and multiple generous common decks offer panoramic vistas and awe-inspiring sunrises over the Santa Ynez Mountains.
The project density is 56 units/acre and takes advantage of a zoning modification that allows reduced parking, benefited by its proximity to services and transportation. Sustainable features are integrated seamlessly into the design such as permeable paving and stormwater retention, high efficiency tankless water heaters, and an extensive solar photovoltaic array at the roof to offset electrical usage.
When viewed from State Street at dusk or nighttime, the soaring entry is a glowing beacon of hope and transformation; a fitting tribute to the selflessness of the former congregation of Grace Lutheran Church.
2019 Gold Nugget Award of Merit