San Rafael, CA – With a funding boost from the County of Marin, the Marin City Health and Wellness Center is well on its way toward creating a new facility that will include 24 units of housing for very-low-income and extremely-low-income residents.
A rendering from Quezada Architecture of a renovated Marin City Health and Wellness Clinic that includes housing units.
The Marin County Board of Supervisors on September 10 approved a grant allocation of $500,000
toward predevelopment and construction for the facility at 100 Phillips Drive.
The project, expected to cost nearly $20 million, involves demolishing the existing single-story 4,000-square-foot center at the site and erecting a 34,099-square-foot mixed-use building with the residential apartments and a new health clinic. The targeted completion is the end of 2021.
As with the existing center, the revamped clinic will include preventive medical, dental, and behavioral health and recovery services. There will be a large classroom space on the ground level to host workshops, meetings, and special events. The rental housing units will have a mix of bedroom sizes, and each floor of the building will have a shared lounge and kitchen space to encourage social connections.
“It’s such an exciting way to look at the role of a clinic in a community,” said Board President Kate Sears, who represents District 3 in southern Marin, including Marin City. “Adding on the housing piece and expanding the size of the services makes it just a tremendously exciting project.”
The center’s leadership team requested assistance from the County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund to be used with additional pending financial support from other government programs plus possible support from the Marin Community Foundation, Tamalpais Pacific and the Kresge Foundation. The County Housing Trust Fund money will be allocated only toward the housing units.
Leelee Thomas, a planning manager with the County’s Community Development Agency, said the staff has worked with the center’s administrative staff and its housing consultants on the project plans.
“We have been impressed with how much they’ve learned,” Thomas said. “They are not affordable housing developers, but they have really rolled up their sleeves, contacted all the right partners, and shown a huge learning curve in the amount of time they’ve devoted to it.”
Since it was established in 2006, the clinic has offered the only health services available in Marin City and much of southern Marin. About 85 percent of clinic clients are on Medi-Cal, according to Melanie Hamburger, the clinic’s director of development.
The project application is expected to be submitted to the Community Development Agency’s planning division within the next 30-45 days.
This will be Marin County’s first development under California Senate Bill 35, which streamlines multifamily housing construction in municipalities that have not met state-mandated housing construction requirements.
The Marin County Housing Trust Fund was created to increase the stock of affordable housing in one of the nation’s most expensive counties in which to live. Money can be used anywhere in the county, but unincorporated areas such as Marin City are a priority.