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Historic downtown hotel re-opens to house homeless tenants

The historic Hotel Churchill re-opens for homeless tenants.
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The historic Hotel Churchill has been restored downtown thanks to the San Diego Housing Commission who acquired it through a foreclosure, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

It will serve as homes for veterans, young adults and ex-convicts who are trying to abandon the streets and get their lives back on track.

The seven story building was built in 1914, and still remains stoic, shadowing the passing cars of the Blue Line trolley on C Street.   

Little has changed to the outside even after the $20 million restoration because of its historic landmark status.

Inside, the commission has turned it into 72 rooms of affordable housing, each tenant only paying 30-percent of their monthly income (up to $46,700 annually).

There are 56 rooms for veterans, eight for young adults between the ages of 18-24, and eight more for ex-convicts.

The commission wanted to demolish the building and create a new affordable housing project, but because of its classification, had to keep the visage intact.

Using development funds and government grants, the commission sought outside help to restore and renovate the building, but the bids went way beyond their budget so they turned the job over to their in-house contractors.

The building has rooms that average about 320-square feet, are partially furnished and contain en suites with bath and showers.

There is downstairs conference room with television and internet hook-ups, a shady courtyard and state-of-the-art retrofitting for earthquake safety.

The building will have its grand re-opening on Monday, Sept. 19, at 10:30 am.

Nathan Simpson, the building’s resident manager said 40 tenants have already taken up residence and the remainder are still being selected.