Construction is underway on two housing projects on First Street, just west of the freeway, that together could provide 72 badly needed new residential units in the city.

Located almost next door to each other, one project is called Napa Creek Village. The other is called Vero.

Napa Creek Village features 48 townhome-style single family homes developed by Thriving Communities and partner Healthy Buildings Cos. of Napa. It is a condo-type rental project, with the hope of selling the units in the future. There is also a rent-to-own option.

Vero features 24 homes developed by Lafferty Communities of San Ramon that will be sold to individual buyers with the prices yet to be determined.

Napa Creek Village, at 2614 First St., will offer eight “affordable” units, 16 “workforce” units and 24 market rate units, said Bob Massaro of Healthy Buildings. The eight residential buildings will reach three stories tall.

It’s also a green project that will include features such as gray water collection systems and solar power.

“It’s one of the first zero net energy multi-family projects in the North Bay,” Massaro said.

The project had been delayed by about three months because of rain. However, today, “most of our underground work is nearing completion. We’ll be starting on the building foundations in about two weeks. We’re shooting to have the first of the buildings open in early spring 2018, if not the whole project,” Massaro said.

“We want to rent to people who work in Napa,” Massaro said. “We’re going to try to screen against anyone who is using it for tourism. There are so many people who can’t find a place to live here and this is part of that solution.”

While the First Street corridor in that area has suffered from parking congestion, the planned 95 parking spots at Napa Creek Village will meet city standards, he said.

Massaro said an on-site manager will oversee parking so that residents don’t have an excessive number of vehicles.

Vero, at 2604 First St., will be a mix of two- and three-story plans and range in size from 1,037 to 2,312 square feet. They are detached courtyard homes.

Back in 2013, when the property was owned by a different group, the homes were marketed to Chinese buyers who wanted second homes in the Napa Valley. At that time the project was known as Napa Villas.

Today, the property is owned by Verdom Realty Management, a company with a New York mailing address.

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Napa house hunters may recognize the Lafferty name – it is the same company that has developed the Riva Reserve project off of Big Ranch Road and the Brioso project on Luke Drive in Napa.

“We are looking to sell to any buyers interested in purchasing a new quality home centrally located in the city of Napa,” said Mark Forster, senior vice president of acquisitions at Lafferty Communities.

After completing initial grading and prep work at the site, Lafferty is working with the city to finalize a few last details on the improvement plans and processing the construction plans for the houses through the city’s building department, said Forster.

The development process is divided into two main parts — the installation of the underground utilities and the construction of the homes.

“Currently, we are working on the underground utilities,” said Forster. Residents passing along First Street will see the site work progressing through the spring and into summer and home construction will begin in summer, he said.

Prices for the homes will be determined after the completion of site work, he said.

“We are targeting the delivery homes at various price points to cater to a wide range of home buyers.”

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Jennifer Huffman is the business editor and a general assignment reporter for the Napa Valley Register. I cover a wide variety of topics for the newspaper. I've been with the Register since 2005.