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Stockton's first modular apartments will bring 100 new homes to downtown

The Stockton development will be the first of its kind in the Central Valley, according to Carol Ornelas, CEO of Visionary Home Builders.

STOCKTON, Calif. — Stockton is about to get its first-ever modular apartment complex.

The affordable housing build will happen on East Miner Avenue on state property, which isn't something that kind of land is traditionally used for.

The idea came after an executive order from Gov. Gavin Newsom's office in January 2019 to use every "tool in the toolbox" to address the affordable housing crisis. The order had officials looking at excess state land to figure out which areas would be good candidates for affordable housing.

The end result for Stockton is their first-ever modular home apartments, "La Passeggiata." Valley Home Builders, with Pearl Homes, will construct two buildings, connected by a bridge, that will serve as affordable housing for seniors and families in downtown Stockton.

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"This will be the first [modular apartments] for the Central Valley, and... this is just another avenue for helping to get housing out into all communities in California,” said Carol Ornelas, CEO for Visionary Home Builders.

The buildings will have solar power, energy efficient electric appliances, smart home artificial intelligence, and rooftop gardens. Ornelas says they'll also be available to a wide range of incomes, between 30% to 80% of median.

While the modular apartments are a first for Stockton, the city isn't completely foreign to the idea of modular homes. Ornelas said Valley Home Builders has built some single-family modular homes in Stockton in past years.

Modular buildings are made in a factory and are quicker to put together, according to Ornelas. 

"I think, once they’re built, they’re going to look very similar to what we typically call 'stick-built.' The building comes pretty much put together, but you got to do all the exterior... it’s going to look like one of your typical housing projects.”

Ornelas said some projects for modular apartments have already broken ground in Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and Oakland.

For Visionary Home Builders, they hope to break ground on their project in the next nine months, and have families in those homes by the end of 2021 or the first quarter of 2022.

The work will also bring some renovation to East Miner Avenue, with road narrowing, bike lanes, and improved sidewalks from the waterfront to the Ace Train station.

"We're excited… We’re going to rock it here," Ornelas said.

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