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Housing rebound starts in Lathrop
A carpenter building one of the new houses in the William Lyon Homes subdivision at Mossdale Landing in Lathrop stays warm while working outdoors New Year’s Eve by wearing a thick hoodie jacket. - photo by ROSE ALBANO RISSO

LATHROP – The darkest hour in Lathrop’s housing market appears to be waning as the city enters the third decade of its history as an incorporated city.

While news about mortgage meltdown was still dominating the housing market in Lathrop in mid-2009, new home construction was slowly making a quiet rebound at Mossdale, the epicenter of the foreclosures.

In fact, during the second half of the year, 60 new homes have been built by KB Home, one of several developers in Lathrop.

KB Home was not the only one that has been quietly making building strides in the depressed housing market. New Year’s Eve on Thursday, a busy construction crew was out at McKee Boulevard, Pony Express Way, and Stage Coach Drive just north of City Hall working on The Ranch at Mossdale Landing. The Ranch is a project of William Lyon Homes which is building the three model homes on McKee Boulevard, a block west of Pony Express Way. A member of the construction crew that was busy laying the foundation of several new homes at Stage Coach and Pony Express said he was not sure how many new homes The Ranch will eventually have but that they are currently building 20 new houses.

That some of the developers like William Lyon Homes are building model homes is also a sign of builders’ confidence that the housing market, and the economy in general, is slowly making a turn-around.

Others currently playing a major role in the revival of residential construction in Lathrop are Legacy Homes which purchased the 69-unit development property that used to belong to Shea Homes, and Axios homes which bought the former Syncon Homes’ 70-unit project on the northwest corner of McKee and Johnson Ferry boulevards.

Silver lining in the
commercial dark clouds

In the commercial arena, silver linings were appearing in the dark economic clouds as well.

The news was not one hundred percent dismal as far as new construction in Lathrop was concerned during The Great Recession and mortgage meltdown period of the last half of the 21st century’s first decade. Thanks to TCN Properties, owned by Tom and Cathie Luckey, and other little known investors, new businesses opened on both sides of Interstate 5.

East of the freeway, next to the Save Mart shopping center on North Harlan Road, the new Mossdale Crossings by TCN Properties opened. The commercial center home to a number of retail businesses including Curves for Women which moved its location from the Crossroads Commerce Center just down the street on South Harlan Road. The new Lathrop Veterinary Center also opened at the south end of Golden Valley Parkway just southeast of City Hall even while it was battling the city for the completion of the road right in front of it. TCN Properties was also the developer that brought to the city during these bleak economic times the construction project that brought Chevron into the Mossdale Skyline. The San Ramon-based company, which ranks fourth in the U.S. Fortune 500, is using its office in Lathrop for marketing and emergency operations in the valley.

The vacant lot next to the Holiday Inn Express that was originally planned to be the site of the Community Banks of Northern California became the home of Texas Buffalo Wings and Sports Bar, the latest dining destination in Lathrop. The restaurant, along with a banquet hall, occupies the ground floor of the three-story prominent building just across the street from the Lathrop Business Park on South Harlan Road.

And most recently, in the last December meeting of the City Council, a new memorandum of understanding was approved by both the city and the Watt Lathrop LLC for the development of Lathrop Marketplace II on the northeast corner of River Islands and Golden Valley parkways. Lathrop Marketplace I is where Target is located. However, the rest of this Marketplace II remains to be developed.