Designed by Kennerly Architecture & Planning, the Bill Sorro Community is an affordable housing community at 200 Sixth Street in San Francisco. Named after the local social and economic justice activist Bill Sorro, who died in 2007, the new mixed-use building reanimates a derelict corner in the heart of the historic Sixth Street Lodging House District.
Previously, the site was occupied by the Hugo Hotel, vacant since a fire burned the interior in 1988. Above the double-height ground-floor retail space, the new building divides into two brick clad volumes that respond to the neighborhood's historic fabric. A nine-story tower marks the intersection; the other tower steps down along Sixth.
The building includes eight studio apartments, 24 one-bedroom units, 25 two-bedroom units, and 10 three-bedroom units. Fifty-two units are for individuals and families earning between 40 and 50 percent of area median income. The other 14 apartments are earmarked for low-income adults with developmental disabilities; these units are financed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. The nonprofit organization, The Arc of San Francisco, will provide supportive services for these residents.
The grand lobby includes a 1,200 sf community room, and open flow to the common rear garden. Many of the apartments facing Sixth Street have balconies and a contemporary interpretation of the city's bay windows, and the corridors are naturally lit as well. The ninth floor building setback has a roof terrace offering open space and views of the city.
On the ground floor, the prominent corner space is intended to house a restaurant. The building also includes a family resource center operated by the nonprofit organization South of Market Child Care, Inc. which offers parenting classes and family case management to neighborhood residents.
Photography: Bruce Damonte