Empyrean Towers

Originally constructed in 1911 as the Hotel Menlo, Gelfand Partners transformed the market-rate SRO residential hotel with 99 small units with shared bathrooms but without kitchens into 66 affordable apartments (studios & 1 bedroom) with private bathrooms and kitchenettes. The historic structure (recently added to the National Register of Historic Places) was brought back to life – common areas rehabilitated, new energy efficient plumbing, heating, electrical, lighting, and life safety systems provided throughout and an extensive new seismic bracing system introduced to provide resistance to earthquakes and allow this community resource to stand for generations to come. Ground floor common areas were reconfigured to provide support service offices, a new common room, and restrooms for commercial restaurant and retail spaces. A new elevator provides access to new accessible apartments, while a basement bike storage room supports resident mobility. The entire rehabilitation received low income housing tax credits and historic preservation tax credits, conforming to the highest preservation standards.

To view more GPA projects: GPA Projects Map

  • Owner:

    Resources for Community Development

  • Location:

    Oakland, CA

  • Completed:


  • Size:

    66 units; 31,879 sf

  • Info:

    National Register of Historic Places


Photos: Kyle Jeffers