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Manteca on track for big home year
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This could shape up as a big year for home building in Manteca.

If trends from January and February continue, Manteca could end the year with 362 new homes.

If that happens, it would be the biggest year since before the recession started when 433 new homes were built in Manteca. That was in 2005.

At the same time the average new home being built in Manteca could set a new record for size. The 62 homes started in January and February based on City of Manteca Building Department data averaged 3,123 square feet. That’s just three square feet less than the record year for average size set in 2003. Average home sizes shrunk significantly after the recession started in 2006 as builders scrambled to serve a constricted market dominated by first-time buyers. The average home size dropped to 1,868 square feet in 2008 before starting to rebound.

The chances of Manteca hitting the 362-home mark this year and surpassing it are considered strong. That’s because three new neighborhoods are moving forward south of Woodward Avenue.

Meritage Homes has already started building homes in the 274-lot Pillsbury Estates being developed west of the Hat Mansion and east of the existing Woodward Park neighborhoods.

Site work for the 536-lot Oleander Estates by Raymus Homes: The Next Generation is on target for home construction to start by late spring if not earlier. The new neighborhood is being built southwest of Main Street and Woodard Avenue.

At the same time the 93-lot Blossom Grove Estates being built southeast of Union Road and Woodward Avenue should be ready for home building this summer as well.

There are also two other housing projects that could start building this year without making significant site improvements.

City of Manteca planners are reviewing plans to covert former elementary school sites in the Union Ranch neighborhood in north Manteca and the Tesoro neighborhood in southeast Manteca into homes. Manteca Unified School District traded the two sites with a developer for a larger school site in southwest Manteca near McKinley and Woodward avenues.

Planners are reviewing a tentative subdivision map to convert a 9-acre site designated for an elementary school in the Union Ranch neighborhood into a 33-lot project for low density housing.

It would consist of one- and two-story homes with lots ranging from 8,700 to 18,100 square feet. The average lot size would be 10,578 square feet.

Developers are requesting a general plan land use amendment to convert the former Tesoro school site from quasi-public use to low density residential.

It would take eight acres and create 25 lots ranging from 8,200 to 15,700 square feet. The majority of the lots would come in at 8,700 square feet.

Since both sites are adjacent to infrastructure once the projects go through the city’s approval process construction could start fairly quick.