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1st Manteca apartment complex of its kind
Ali Youssefi, left, of Sacramento-based CFY Development talks with Manteca City Manager Karen McLaughlin, left, and past Manteca City Manager Steve Pinkerton inside one of the units at the Juniper Apartment complex. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Mark Niles recalled a recent visit to the brand-new Juniper Apartments.

He heard from a resident that living in the 153-unit workforce housing community in south Manteca was “like staying in a hotel in Las Vegas.”

The rents for the apartments are capped at a set percentage of the median income for workers in the Manteca market. It is the first housing project in Manteca that is targeted for workforce needs and not low-income families or low-income seniors. The subsidy is essentially through lower financing costs for the project made possible through redevelopment funds and tax-exempt loans designed to boost affordable housing opportunities.

Niles, who is an executive for the California Community Reinvestment Corporation based in Glendale, shared the tidbit about the Las Vegas hotel at Friday’s grand opening event.

He along with representatives from the City of Manteca, CFY Development, RBC Capital Markets, and U.S. Banks were among those involved in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the low / moderate-income housing facility made possible in part by the city’s now-defunct Redevelopment Agency.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin credited her predecessor Steve Pinkerton, who was also in attendance. “His vision (for the public / private partnership) paid off,” she said.

Those partners included Cyrus and Ali Youssefi of CFY Development and co-developer / co-general partner John Cicerone.

Cicerone indicated that $29 million was raised to pay for the project on the eight acre property. Of that, the city committed $13 million from RDA. The idea was to design a market rate luxury apartment similar to that of Paseo Villas.

“I drove past our sister apartments today,” said Niles, who compared the two facilities. “I have to say (Juniper Apartments) is better.”

Cicerone added, “It took us a while to get here – it wasn’t easy – and there were some twist and turns. But it was fun getting here.”

During construction, the project brought in 350 jobs and, according to schedule, was completed within a year. “It was on budget, on time and was a quality build,” he said.

The units are available in one-, two- and three- bedroom apartments and equipped with individually controlled central heat and air conditioning along with energy efficient appliances such as refrigerator, stove, garbage disposal, and dishwasher.

Each unit has its own balcony.

The property located at 1201 E. Atherton Drive also features a children’s playground, picnic area, swimming pool, and on-site laundry facilities.

The community building makes for a good gathering place. Included are the large entertainment room with couches, big-screen televisions, pool table, fitness center, and a classroom / computer room.

Lisa Gutierrez of US Bank said that those living here have the “pride and joy to call home.”

Stacie Altmann of RBC Capital Markets was also impressed with the Juniper Apartments.

“This is absolutely amazing,” she said. “This is a great example for affordable housing.”

Mayor Willie Weatherford was wowed by the aesthetics and quality of the affordable-housing facility.

“It’s not an apartment (to those living here) but home,” he said. “Why can’t it be nice?”