A flurry of construction is underway in Petaluma’s southern gateway, paving the way for significant cache of residential units that will boost increasingly scarce housing stock and two new hotels expected to draw more business to the city.
The four projects along Lakeville Highway will eventually amount to more than 500 single family homes, townhomes and apartments, as well as nearly 200 hotel rooms, according to data from the city’s planning department. Though the addition of those for-sale and rental residences won’t solve the mounting housing crisis, it will provide more market-rate inventory in the city that in April had a 2.68 percent vacancy rate in its major apartment complexes.
The projects will include 23 units of designated affordable housing while also funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the city’s own affordable housing fund paid into by developers who opt to pay a fee rather than build units, according to Housing Coordinator Sue Castellucci.
“It’s not going to meet the demand for affordable family housing needed in Petaluma, but it’s certainly a start,” Castellucci said.
At the largest of the infill projects, the Riverfront development on a 35-acre vacant lot at 500 Hopper St., work is in progress for the first phase of infrastructure improvements, including portions of roadways and landscaping, according to Paul Andronico, a representative for developer Basin Street Properties. That work is expected to wrap up in the fall, though there is not yet a time frame for the other elements of the development, which will eventually feature a 122-room Marriott hotel, office space and up to 273 housing units including 134 single-family homes, 39 townhomes and mixed-use apartments. It will also include 7.5 acres of open space, and will set aside land for a future boathouse and a bridge across the Petaluma River.
El Segundo-based developer Comstock Homes will construct the single-family residences, with an application for the first 19 homes approved by the city’s planning commission Tuesday. Homes will be constructed in phases, with sale prices beginning in the $600,000 range, according to the developer’s website. Representatives for Comstock Homes, which has also constructed Healdsburg’s Sorrento Square, did not respond to requests for more information.
City officials in March signed off on plans for the roughly 74,000-square-foot Marriott Hotel at the development, which is set to feature an outdoor swimming pool and spa, 206 parking spaces and additional bicycle parking. The Marriott would also include a bistro and bar, an outdoor dining area, meeting rooms, public bathrooms and a fitness center, according staff reports.
“At this stage, we’re thrilled that (the hotel) is approved and we’re working toward a construction time line,” Andronico said.
Basin Street properties is also developing the nearby Marina Apartments, where crews are beginning work at the site of the 90-unit complex of rental apartments, Andronico said. Construction is expected to wrap up by late 2018, he said.
The Marina Apartments, which will be located on an unpaved triangular lot at 0 Marina Ave., will feature a mix of studio to three bedroom apartments and associated parking, according to project plans.
On the opposite side of Lakeville Highway, construction is also underway at the Altura Apartments off Baywood Drive, a 150-unit complex developed by The Reliant Group. The San Francisco-based entity also serves as a co-general partner in the low income housing tax credit partnership that purchased and revamped the Copeland Creek senior apartments in Rohnert Park.