American Gold Star Manor $58 Million Renovation

AGSM UpgradeGazette photo by Harry Saltzgaver

Dr. Edward Golding, principal Deputy Asst. Secretary for Housing, talks to Gold Star Manor residents Friday (9/21/15)

A three-year, $58 million renovation was announced Friday for the American Gold Star Manor in Long Beach.  Gold Star provides affordable housing for parents of veterans who died in military service — called Gold Star Mothers. Veterans also can occupy one of the 348 apartments if there is no call from a Gold Star family.  Gold Star Manor has operated for 40 years. President and CEO Terry Geiling said that a refurbishment was overdue, but had to wait for the appropriate financing.
“That came together thanks to HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development),” Geiling said. “There are two pieces. We will float a municipal bond for the construction, and then we will have tax credit financing to pay off the mortgage… It’s all made possible by the 348 (Section 8) vouchers from HUD.”  Geiling unveiled plans for the renovation at Friday’s celebration of the Manor’s 40th anniversary. Cindy Kruger, president of the American Gold Star Mothers Inc.; Congressman Alan Lowenthal; and Brigadier General Nathaniel Reddicks, commanding general of the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base; joined Dr. Edward Golding, principal Deputy Asst. Secretary for Housing in speaking at the ceremony.  Geiling said that about a third of the apartments had been receiving a rent subsidy from HUD. Lowenthal and others helped convince the government to provide the more permanent assistance.
“We have worked to increase the number of permanent housing options,” Golding said Friday. “This program is a prime example of how it works best. We are pleased to be a part of it.”  Geiling has hired Adobe Communities to oversee the construction. It will include everything from a new fire suppression system to solar panels to energy-efficient appliances in all of the apartments, he said.  “The number one priority is resident safety,” Geiling said. “The number two priority is conservation. That’s the drought-tolerant landscaping, the solar panels and all the rest. When done, we will have reduced our footprint by 35% to 40%.”  Construction is scheduled to start this December and last for three years. In order to renovate all of the apartments, vacancies are being accumulated so an entire building —36 apartments — can be worked on at the same time.
Harry Saltzgaver can be reached at hsalt@gazettes.com.