More than five dozen new housing units are on the cusp of winning Napa’s thumbs-up.
A pair of residential developments will approach their final milepost Tuesday evening, when the Napa City Council is scheduled to vote on a 50-unit First Street Apartments II rental project west of Highway 29 and a cluster of 14 townhouses on Foster Road in the south of town.
If approved, the two projects would become the latest additions to a housing market marked by years of high rents and resale prices with rock-bottom vacancy rates – but that has also seen an upturn in construction this year, including the building of hundreds of apartments west of Soscol Avenue’s commercial strip.
Located on a 1.7-acre property at 2611 First St. near Freeway Drive, the First Street Apartments would join a growing collection of multifamily communities on the city’s west side, such as Napa Creek Terrace and Creekside Park to the north. Its Aptos-based developer, Jim Reilly, proposes a trio of three-story, 40-foot-tall buildings containing mainly two-bedroom dwellings, along with 11 one-bedroom units and four with three bedrooms. Existing buildings on the site would be torn down, including single family homes built between 1890 and 1930.
The rental complex at 2611 First St. is the latest iteration of a plan that has lingered, unbuilt, for more than a decade. Conceived as a condominium project in the late 2000s, it was reshaped into a rental under Reilly’s ownership. An earlier building permit Napa granted in 2014 lapsed after two years without a groundbreaking.
A new application this spring won the endorsement of Napa’s Planning Commission after it requested various improvements, such as rooftop solar panels for power and water heating, as well as more outdoor space, seating, picnic tables and grills. Because of traffic backups near the Highway 29 interchange, the city also is requiring a three-car left-turn lane into the complex from westbound First Street, along with a right-turn-only exit from the apartments toward the freeway.
To the south, a townhome development at 1124 Foster Road is set to replace the longtime home of radio stations KVON-AM and KVYN-FM, which moved their headquarters to the South Napa Century Center on July 8.
Replacing the vacated studio building will be three duplexes and two buildings with four units each. Garages would be placed at ground level along with four parking spaces for guests, according to plans filed by developer Roger Walther who owned the two radio stations before selling them to Wine Down Media in 2017.
Also Tuesday, the City Council will vote on a multimillion-dollar bond issue for an affordable apartment development planned for Soscol Avenue in north Napa.
Satellite Affordable Housing Associates, a nonprofit developer, seeks the funding for the 51-unit Manzanita Family Apartments, which would be reserved for tenants making less than 60 percent of Napa’s median income. Tax-exempt bonds issued by the California Municipal Finance Authority would raise up to $35 million for the project, although the builder expects to require only $22.8 million of the financing, according to Housing Manager Lark Ferrell.
A vote by the council, which approved the Manzanita apartments two years ago, is required by a 1982 federal law that makes public hearings a condition for local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds.