ST. HELENA — Turley Flats Apartments, an affordable project featuring eight manufactured units, is about to accept its first tenants at 1105 Pope St.
The two- and three-bedroom apartments are expected to have rents ranging from $1,100 to $2,258 per month.
During an open house last week, people wandered through the finished kitchens and bathrooms and the small bedrooms. The apartments range in size from 727 square feet to 979 square feet for an apartment with three bedrooms and two baths.
Larry Kromann, president of Calistoga Affordable Housing, which developed and owns the apartment complex, said the open house was held so that prospective tenants could view the apartments, fill out an application and officially begin the application process.
Napa’s Crown Realty is handling the applications, first available on Aug. 1, through their website. Last Thursday, property manager Kevin Nickerson said he has applications from 75 people.
Nickerson said a majority of prospective tenants are from St. Helena and the Napa Valley, although he said others were from Clearlake, Vallejo, Napa, Angwin and as far away as Stockton.
The governing documents spell out how the apartments will be rented: first to the eight families displaced in 2011 when substandard housing on the site was red-tagged, then to Turley vineyard workers and then to the St. Helena community.
“If there are any left after that, it goes to the low-income families in the county,” Kromann said.
It is named Turley Flat Apartments because in 2012 vintner Larry Turley bought the property and sold it to California Affordable Housing for $1, with the stipulation that affordable housing be built on the site.
Angwin’s Helmer and Sons has been the general contractor for the affordable housing project. Doug Helmer said construction has taken six months, a little bit longer than expected. In July, a large crane was used to stack the eight manufactured homes on top of each other.
The affordable housing project cost an estimated $3.4 million, with Poppy Bank funding $1.4 million in mortgages, $835,000 in loans from the City of St. Helena’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, $650,000 in loans from Napa County, a $150,000 grant from the Gasser Foundation and the rest came from other foundations.
After touring the site this week, St. Helena Mayor Geoff Ellsworth said Turley Flats was the “first of its kind in the county using this innovative approach of high-quality, attractive modular units and cross jurisdictional partnerships. Though the process was challenging, a pathway has now been outlined for creating more housing sooner. Excellent work!”
Kromann said the project started in November 2011 when the city red-tagged two properties at 1103 and 1105 Pope St., citing building code violations and unsafe living conditions. Eight families were living there at the time. Seven families left immediately and the last family left within 60 days, according to the stories published in the St. Helena Star at that time.
“In my way of thinking, this project took a long time,” Kromann said, “because of all the hoops you have to go through and the process and because you have to raise the money.” He said St. Helena and Napa County contributed 40 percent of the financing as loans.
According to a fact sheet from Calistoga Affordable Housing, each of the apartment includes quality kitchen and appliances, unique safety light switches, in-unit laundry options, economical heat and air conditioning, child safety window blinds, six-inch insulated walls with double pane windows, and easy to clean flooring. The apartment units are on the second and third floors. The first floor contains lighted vehicle parking and individual storage.
The modular design was created by Farrell-Faber Associates of Santa Rosa and hybridCore-hybridBuilt Homes served as modular consultants. The eight units were built and furnished by SilverCrest Homes of Ontario, California.
Calistoga Affordable Housing has built five projects since 2001, although Turley Flats was the first in St. Helena.
“In Calistoga, we have built 50 percent of all housing built in the last 20 years, but that’s not very much,” Kromann said.
Will they build another in St. Helena?
He answered, “We’ll go wherever we can pick up an opportunity of land and money.”
(This article has been changed to include the correct addresses for the units that were red-tagged: They were 1103 and 1105 Pope St.)