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Manteca apartment shortage?
Developers moving two new complexes forward
A rendering of what the proposed 200-unit Terra Ranch Apartments near McKinley Avenue and the 120 Bypass will look like. - photo by Rendering contributed

Manteca is expected to cross the threshold of 19,000 single family homes by year’s end.

That’s roughly 80.8 percent of all housing stock in Manteca with the balance in multiple-family housing such as apartments and duplexes. That’s makes Manteca an abnormality when it comes to California as a whole as the Golden State has 38.0 percent of all housing in multiple family units.

And when it comes to the region, Manteca has one of the lowest percentages of multi-family units in communities over 20,000 as it tops only Tracy at 17.56 percent. That is lower than the United States at 31.8 percent, Stockton at 33.7 percent and Lodi at 35.2 percent.

A study issued earlier this year by economists at the University of Pacific’s Business Forecasting Center credited the higher percentage of single family homes in Manteca and Tracy to the “commute-centric southern San Joaquin County.”

And, according to previous studies by the forecasting center, renters are paying the price in Manteca.

For-rent surveys of available apartments show rents in Manteca, Lathrop, and Ripon tend to be higher than the rest of San Joaquin County. The forecast center noted that in 2009 the median gross monthly rent that includes water, sewer, and electricity was $998 in San Joaquin County. US Census data shows that’s $28 higher than in Sacramento County and $156 higher than the United States as a whole but $57 lower than the California average.

The low number of apartments has created an opportunity for investors. Two apartment projects are starting to move forward. They are the:

•128-unit Woodbridge Apartments located between the city’s water tank and Calvary Community Church on Lathrop Road.

•200-unit Terra Ranch Apartments south of the 120 Bypass along the newer alignment of McKinley Avenue.

The Manteca Planning Commission was scheduled to review the site plan and environmental impact report for Woodbridge Apartments tonight. Developers Bill Filios and Art Nunes, however, asked for it to be delayed until Oct. 23 to allow additional time to review and clarify conditions.

And while the 152-unit Juniper Apartments below market rate subsidized complex for working class households on Atherton Drive just recently opened it barely made a dent in cutting the gap between single family homes and multiple family homes in Manteca.

There were just 18,900 singles family homes in Manteca at the end of August and 3,625 apartment units and duplexes units. That includes 186 new homes started this year prior to Sept. 1 plus the Juniper Apartments.

The UOP research shows that 98.4 percent of all new housing in San Joaquin County between 1990 and 2009 were single family homes. In Manteca, the percentage of single family homes compared to all new housing built was 91.8 percent. That compares to 90.5 percent in Stanislaus County, 75.3 percent in California, 74.1 percent in Sacramento County, and 71.2 percent in the United States.

It’s not that the city hasn’t approved plans for apartments. Roughly 20 percent of all development maps either approved or pending are for apartments. That number is 3,113 compared to 12,013 single family homes in the approval process. But if everything is built, Manteca still will have less than 20 percent of all housing units classified as multiple family.

That is why developers are willing to push forward with expensive apartment complex projects that can take up to 18 months to complete after ground is broken and cost close to $30 million in construction costs alone for 150 units. They have expressed a strong belief that even with new constriction apartments will be scare enough to demand fairly strong rents.