Nonprofit builder Burbank Housing buys Sonoma County office building for expansion

Burbank Housing plans to move to bigger offices in Santa Rosa this spring.

The Santa Rosa-based nonprofit builder and operator of affordable housing throughout the North Bay purchased a 15,360-square-foot office building at 1425 Corporate Center Parkway from Becoming Independent on Jan. 29 for $2.8 million, the companies announced this week.

A nonprofit that helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Becoming Independent said it has owned the building for 20 years and will be consolidating into its other owned building next door.

Larry Florin, Burbank Housing president and CEO, said the purchase will support Burbank’s growing staff and expanding development portfolio. The organization’s headquarters currently employs 49.

“While we’ve experienced incredible achievements in recent years, we’ve outgrown our space,” said Florin, referring to the current leased headquarters located 790 Sonoma Ave., near downtown Santa Rosa. “By purchasing our office space, we’ll now have the freedom to create a work environment tailored to our needs, in a neighborhood that is home to multiple social service agencies. We look forward to the opportunities this move will create for us to better serve our community.”

Becoming Independent provides grounds-keeping services for several Burbank properties, according to the builder.

“This sale represents a huge milestone for Becoming Independent,” says Luana Vaetoe, Becoming Independent’s Chief Executive Officer. “The proceeds of the sale have allowed us to further enhance the agency’s financial stability, and we’re delighted that the new owners and neighbors are a fellow nonprofit with whom we have a long-standing partnership. With the sale of the building, we are now focused on the next chapter for BI and look forward to unveiling those plans very soon.”

Burbank Housing has hired Santa Rosa-based TLCD Architecture to redesign the interior of the new headquarters building. Demolition and construction are expected to take almost two months. Burbank expects to start operating in the new building by early spring. But Burbank’s new offices will continue to remain closed to the public because of COVID-19 pandemic safety requirements.

Founded 41 years ago, Burbank Housing builds, preserves, and manages affordable rental and for-sale homes. It currently houses 10,000 people across 70 rental communities and 900 owned homes. Burbank Housing’s rental wait list has grown to 15,000 households, and its predevelopment pipeline includes 600 affordable residences.

One project is at Mendocino Avenue and Fountaingrove Parkway in Santa Rosa, the former Journey’s End mobile home park. Two residents were killed there when the 2017 Tubbs Fire roared through, destroying all but 44 of the 162 homes and leaving the rest uninhabitable in the 13.5-acre park at 3575 Mendocino.

Late last year, the city approved a 532-unit project with 162 affordable senior units on 2.5 acres and 370 market-rate units on 9.25 acres. Santa Rosa-based nonprofit Burbank Housing and Los Angeles-based for-profit developer Related California are working on the affordable piece. They secured tax credits earlier this month that would equate to $40 million of the $56 million estimated cost for the first phase of 94 units. The goal is to start construction on that this fall, according to Florin.

Meanwhile, Burbank has 110 homes and rentals under construction in three Santa Rosa, Napa and Rohnert Park projects, and doing renovation work for transitional housing in Petaluma and Santa Rosa. Burbank plans to start work on 342 other units this year in Santa Rosa, Napa, Healdsburg and Windsor.

Brian Keegan and Rhonda Deringer of Keegan & Coppin Co. Inc./Oncor International represented Becoming Independent in the sale, and Carlos Rivas of W Commercial Real Estate represented Burbank Housing.

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