Whistlestop’s Healthy Aging Campus FAQs

A planned new building located at the corner of Third and Brooks in downtown San Rafael will house an expanded and modernized Healthy Aging Center on the first and second floors and 66 units of affordable homes for older adults on the upper four floors. The Healthy Aging Campus will be Marin’s first car-free community. The new campus includes:

Integrated Care with many health service areas such as chronic disease management, podiatry, ophthalmology, medication management, vaccination and support services that enhance independent living at home. The clinic will serve all of Marin’s older adults, not only those who live onsite.

Connection & Companionship Whistlestop will continue to be a welcoming hub for Marin’s older adults and their families – a place to connect, learn, attend classes and activities, volunteer, and experience meaningful engagement with others.

Healthy Aging Services Sharing a meal, attending classes, engaging in conversations and activities with contemporaries, all increase physical and mental wellness. It has been rewarding to watch as recent research and science begin to prove what we at Whistlestop have known all along: that human connection is the central ingredient for overall health and well-being.

Affordable Homes: Eden Housing was carefully selected as our housing partner to build Marin’s first 100% affordable housing community specifically for older residents. One-bedroom and studio apartments (66 total units), will provide homes to older adults aged 62 and up at affordable rents. Eden’s 50-year history of building high quality, service-enhanced affordable homes for lower-income families, older adults and people with disabilities is a perfect fit with Whistlestop’s mission.

The new Healthy Aging Campus will be located at 999 Third Street, at the corner of Third and Brooks streets in downtown San Rafael.

Yes, all of Whistlestop’s current services will move to the Healthy Aging Campus at 999 Third Street, San Rafael, CA.

Just like Whistlestop today, the Healthy Aging Campus will serve all of Marin’s older adults.

Yes! Everything is on schedule. Recent and upcoming milestones:

  • The design has been approved by the San Rafael Design Review Board
  • On September 24, the San Rafael Planning Commission reviewed the project’s Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR).
  • The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing in November (date TBD) on the merits of the project. All public testimony in support of this project is welcome at this meeting.
  • Before the end of the year, we expect the project to go before the San Rafael City Council for final approval.
  • We anticipate the new Healthy Aging Campus opening in mid-2022.

Whistlestop will continue to provide older adults a healthy meal in a socially engaging environment at the new campus.

Yes! Sustainability features include:

  • Car free community
    • A car-free community promotes civic responsibility, improves air quality, and reduces carbon emissions.
    • Removing one car from the road is equivalent to removing 4 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year or planting 20 trees a year
    • Reducing 66 cars (one per household at the Healthy Aging Campus) is like planting 1,300 trees per year
  • Solar panels to heat water and reduce gas consumption
  • EnergyStar appliances that reduce electricity and water consumption
  • Low flow sink and shower fixtures to conserve water
  • Landscaping using native and drought tolerant plants that will save water
  • A total of 12 parking spaces will be provided at street level for use by the Healthy Aging Campus users and the residential property manager. Because the campus will be a car-free community, the need for resident parking spaces will be eliminated.
  • Contrary to popular belief, there is ample parking in the downtown area. There are 12 city garages and parking lots in the downtown San Rafael area, with seven of these averaging less than 85% occupancy. In addition, on-street, metered parking averages only 70% capacity during peak times according to a recent study commissioned by the City of San Rafael.
  • The study recommended that parking requirements for new developments be decreased, because such a large percentage of them go unused.
  • Instead of building parking spaces that are not required by the City and will remain unused, Whistlestop is using the space to increase the number of affordable housing units for older adults.
  • The Whistlestop Healthy Aging Campus will be a car-free community. Services and amenities will be walkable, and transportation will be provided by Whistlestop for trips and outings off campus. See video here: https://youtu.be/HjqMP719myA .
  • Access to transit will be available via:
    • Whistlestop van and shuttle service with access at ground-level.
    • Buses at the Bettini Transportation Center with over 16 separate bus routes operated by three carriers including
    • Marin Transit, Golden Gate Transit and Sonoma County Transit.
    • Regional rail at the SMART station.
  • In March 2013, Whistlestop selected Eden Housing as its partner for the housing portion of this project after an extensive vetting process of several potential partners.
  • Eden Housing was chosen due to its proven track record working in partnership with cities and local community partners to develop or acquire more than 11,199 homes in communities throughout California, currently serving a diverse population of more than 22,000 low-income residents. To date, more than 100,000 people have come home to an Eden community.
  • Since 1968, Eden Housing has been a leader in affordable housing in the Bay Area and currently manages 6,788 affordable rental homes in seven Bay Area counties.  Whistlestop’s 65-year history and mission of promoting independence, well-being and quality of life for older adults in Marin County is a natural fit with Eden Housing’s 50-year history of building high-quality, well-managed, service-enhanced affordable homes for lower-income families, older adults and people with disabilities.
  • See https://youtu.be/HjqMP719myA for a video about this partnership.
  • Whistlestop will own the first two floors of the Healthy Aging campus, and Eden Housing will own the top four floors for the affordable housing units. They will work together in joint ownership of the building via a commercial condominium LLC.

Your name may be added to the waiting list for an apartment home by calling (510) 582-1460.

  • Whistlestop’s new Healthy Aging Campus will cost an estimated $48 million to build – approximately $38 million for the affordable housing component, and $10 million for the Healthy Aging Center component.
  • Whistlestop’s $10 million capital campaign will fund the foundational element of the campus – the first two floors of the Healthy Aging Center.
  • As of September, Whistlestop has commitments of over $7 million toward the $10 million goal.
  • The housing component covering the top four floors will be financed by sources compiled by Eden Housing.
  • We are currently working toward the completion of the $10 million capital campaign to help fund our portion of the Healthy Aging Campus by the end of 2019. Pledge your support.
  • We will go before the San Rafael Planning Commission in November, where public support for this project will be helpful. We do not yet have a date, but if you’d like to attend the meeting to show your support for this project, sign up for updates and we’ll keep you informed about this and other ways to support the project.

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