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218 more apartments planned for Napa's Braydon complex
Housing

218 more apartments planned for Napa's Braydon complex

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Many of the 282 apartments at Napa’s Braydon complex are still under construction, but developers already have plans to build 218 more. At 500 units, the finished project will be Napa’s largest.

Fairfield Residential submitted an application to the city of Napa for a second and final phase of the complex located west of Soscol Avenue’s Auto Row.

Napa Valley “is an area that’s definitely underserved in rental housing,” said Shon Finch of Fairfield Residential, based in San Diego.

Fairfield Residential is developing the 20-acre housing site, which uses a mailing address of 791 Vista Tulocay Lane. It is located on the west side of Soscol Avenue, just north of Tulocay Creek, with views of the Napa River to the west.

“Having an opportunity for folks to live and work in Napa is a big deal — anybody who commutes knows that,” said Finch. “We were really excited to get involved with the Gasser folks and bring this forward.”

The apartment development was originally owned by Napa’s Gasser Foundation.

Fairfield bought the project from BLT Enterprises in February 2017 for an estimated $34.25 million. The entire project is estimated to cost more than $200 million.

Phase I is “going very well,” said Finch during a phone interview on Wednesday. An estimated 148 of 282 units are completed and 48 units are occupied.

According to its website, current rents at the Braydon start at $2,446 a month.

Phase II isn’t a surprise. It was always part of the approved master plan, said Finch. After all work is done, the community will include 500 market rate rental apartments.

To satisfy the city’s affordable housing requirement, Fairfield paid $2 million as an “alternative equivalent” towards building such housing elsewhere.

According to the application, the apartments in Phase II will be located within two four-story buildings and three three-story buildings.

These buildings will include 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units, ranging from 675 to 1,431 square feet. In addition, the expanded development will include open space areas, a dog park, spa/pool, clubhouse and fitness center.

Parking will be provided via a combination of single car garages, carports and uncovered spaces.

Architecture of the Braydon Phase II is described as “inspired by Napa’s rich historical architecture and more recent contemporary vernacular.” Earth-toned colors are the rule with some accents of brighter tones “to add distinction and character.”

Phase II construction could begin as soon as spring 2021 and take 18 to 20 months, said Finch. The last of the 282 units in Phase I could be finished by March, he added.

Napa’s rental vacancy rate hovers around two percent, according to city officials, compared to the Census Bureau’s most recent national tally of 6.4 percent.

That translates to a housing shortage here in Napa, making it harder for aspiring renters or homeowners to actually find an empty place to live.

It also drives up prices. According to Zillow, an online real estate platform, the median monthly listed rental price in the city of Napa is $3,100, up by roughly $1,000 since 2010.

Fairfield is also working on another new California project, said Finch.

The company is building apartment housing in Fremont, near a BART station. That project includes 524 homes. Finch said because of their location the Fremont units will likely rent for more per month than the Napa apartments.

You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or jhuffman@napanews.com

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Business Editor

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.

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