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Residential hotel comeback mitigates Bay Area affordable housing shortage
The first residential hotel to be built in the Bay Area in at least 40 years will not be an instant tenement, a welfare hotel or a flophouse for transients, its backers say.
If recent experience in San Diego applies here, it will be a badly needed addition to the region's housing stock: a comfortable, inexpensive place for people who can't afford a larger place.
Ground will be broken in July for Studio Durant, a 198-unit residential hotel on the corner of Durant and Fulton streets, just off the University of California campus in Berkeley.
The studio apartments will rent for about $280 a month, with preference given to seniors, the disabled and working people. Tenants will pay only the first month's rent and a small security deposit in advance. Although about 30 of the rooms will be reserved for nightly rentals, Berkeley officials say they have no plans to use any of the rooms as temporary shelter for homeless people.
Santa Clara-based SAMCO, a consortium of commercial banks and …