‘Huge and growing need for senior and family housing projects’
PETALUMA — Phase 2 of the Vintage Chateau affordable housing community for seniors 55 and older is set for occupancy this month.
The 68-unit addition on 1.67 acres, located at 325 N. McDowell Blvd., is adjacent to the existing 240-unit Vintage Chateau property built on an 8.05 acre parcel at 333 McDowell Blvd., which opened in 2000.
“There is a huge and growing need for senior and family housing projects,” said Art May, senior vice president of project developer USA Properties Fund. “Our five-year plan is to build, acquire and/or rehabilitate projects to meet our goal of 15,000 units by 2015 within our portfolio. We are looking at other areas of the North Bay area to add to the five projects we have today in the region.”
Both properties were built, owned and managed by Roseville-based USA Properties Fund, Inc., which has developed, acquired and/or rehabilitated more than 11,000 units in 72 California and Nevada communities since its founding in 1981 by J.B. Brown. The company has 372 employees in its Roseville and Irvine offices.
“What distinguishes us from other developers is that we are committed to each property for the long term,” Mr. May said. “We don’t just build and flip these communities in a few years.”
Privately owned USA Properties Fund is vertically integrated with development, construction and management divisions under the same roof. The company value-engineers each project for the future with an eye toward sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
Evidence of this can be seen in the choice of building materials that can stand the test of time — concrete roofing tiles, Hardy plank siding, drought-tolerant native plant landscaping, energy-efficient appliances, etc.
“When one of our communities approaches the end of an initial 15-year use period, we typically re-syndicate it with new tax credits and use the funds for upgrades and rehabilitation. Seven of our 85 properties have been re-syndicated. To date we have acquired more $550 million in tax credits for affordable apartment communities.”
The $16 million Vintage Chateau II was funded using 4 percent federal tax credits and tax-exempt bond financing through bond issuer Association of Bay Area Governments Finance Authority.
When these tax credits were awarded, USA Properties approached Boston Capital, Citi Community Capital and the city of Petaluma, creating a private-public partnership that purchased these credits for 10 years.
Construction for Vintage Chateau II began on Aug. 4, 2011, and will be completed next month. Pending final occupancy permit approval, the development then will be turned over to USA Multifamily Management for day-to-day operations.
The project includes 54 one-bedroom, one-bathroom units with 593 square feet of living space with rents ranging from $775 to $910. There are also 13 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units with 750 square feet of floor space that will rent for $1,090, plus one apartment for a property manager.
Tenants need to meet certain income qualifications.
Apartment amenities include pantry cabinets, a dishwasher, garbage disposal, refrigerator/freezer, range oven with hood, energy-efficient and individually controlled heating and air conditioning, as well as wall-to-wall carpeting.
Vintage Chateau II also offers a furnished 2,458-square-foot clubhouse with a great room, covered patio, 24-hour onsite management and a fitness center. Other design features include laundry facilities, central mail kiosk, elevator access to each floor and planned social activities such as game nights, lectures and potlucks. Restaurants, markets, movies and other retailers are within walking distance, and transportation is easily accessible.
Residents can also take advantage of the furnished clubhouse, pool, spa and gazebo available in the Phase I area with a kitchen, recreation room and lounge, and dance floor.
Vintage Chateau II was constructed according to Build It Green standards. Project Architect Kuchman Architects of Sacramento and USA Properties Fund are certified Green Building Professionals within the Build it Green program.
“To qualify for Build It Green certification you need to meet at least 50 points on the criteria list. Our projects have scored between 115 and 120 points,” Mr. May said.
Vintage Chateau II exceeds Title 24 energy-efficiency requirements by 15 percent. Some 65 percent of jobsite construction waste was recycled. Interior and exterior lighting fixtures are energy-efficient. Water-saving and low-flow devices are used in kitchens and baths. All appliances are Energy Star–rated, and carpeting and pads are CRI green-labeled. Natural gas is used for cooking, heating and water heating, and ceiling fans are installed in bedrooms and living rooms.
This nonsmoking-designated senior complex was built using jobsite storm water pollution prevention plans and includes an engineered storm water filtering system.
The project provided 81 construction jobs and will employ 13 permanent workers, according to company sources.
USA Properties Fund also has taken a leadership position in its industry by providing social services for its senior and family communities.
The company has partnered with LifeSTEPS, a non-profit organization offering life skills training, after school programs, educational resources and scholarships and other supportive services to residents at no additional cost.
Services include confidential case management and mediation along with language, computer and parenting classes. There are social and health-related activities for children and adults, such as on-site flu shots, Health Days, and information sessions on Medicare and Medicaid issues.
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