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1,673-home project moving forward

Trails of Manteca site work starting by March 2013

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1,673-home project moving forward

The Trails of Manteca is moving toward breaking ground prior by March 2013.

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

POSTED June 25, 2012 1:56 a.m.

Manteca’s biggest housing development ever is moving toward ground breaking.

The Trails of Manteca with 1,673 approved living units near the western end of Woodward Avenue gained City Council approval last week to make only partial street improvements along Tara Drive as well as parts of Woodward Avenue where it borders the 477-acre project. Owners of adjoining land will complete the street improvements of their respective half as development occurs.

The project in Southwest Manteca will have 223 more living units than the city’s existing largest subdivision at Del Webb at Woodbridge with 1,450 buildable lots. The age-restricted Del Webb neighborhood is nearing 50 percent built-out.

Next Bay is in the process of completing the $23.5 million financing for the first phase utilizing the “EB-5 Visa Program”. That’s shorthand for the United States Citizenship and Immigrant Service Employment-Based Immigration Fifth Preference Investor and Visa Program. The program has been in place since adoption of the Immigration Act of 1990.

Next Bay under federal laws has two years to start the project once they begin securing funding through EB-5 program applicants. That means they have until March 2013 to get started in earnest with site improvements.

Next Bay has $10 million and five years of work already invested in the project.

The EB-5 program is designed to lure immigrant investors who want to secure visas for permanent United States residency. The Trails of Manteca could accommodate as many as 47 investors, their spouse, and children less than 21 years of age.

The minimum qualifying investment in the United States is $1 million for an investor to gain permanent residency. However, in high unemployment areas such as Manteca with the jobless rate at 13.5 percent that threshold is dropped to $500,000. That means legal firms that specialize in working with foreign nationals to access the program could use the Trails of Manteca as a means to help up to 47 foreign  investors and their qualifying family to obtain permanent United States residency.

Overall, the Trails of Manteca will contain 1,191 single family homes and two apartment complexes with 482 units.

The Trails of Manteca definitely won’t be a typical Manteca neighborhood.

What makes it different, though, are its features:

• It  will have 75 acres of parks land and open space that is roughly five times the current ratio of parkland to a single family home in a typical development. It will also be irrigated using reclaimed wastewater from Manteca’s treatment plant.

• Setbacks for front, back and side yards will be shortened to accommodate smaller single-family homes that in turn is expected to keep housing prices down.

• Back yards that border parkland and open space will have wrought iron “view fences”.

• It will include seven roundabouts including two on Woodward Avenue.

• There will be three bus turnouts on key streets including two on Woodward Avenue which is another first for Manteca.

• All street maintenance and operating costs will be collapsed into the landscape maintenance district.

• Sidewalks will be departed from the street by a grass strip.

• It will include a clubhouse for residents.

• There will be 12 miles of trails for bicycles and pedestrians within the neighborhood.

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