USA Properties expands to Monterey County with Terracina at the Dunes in Marina

USA Properties Fund has started construction on Terracina at the Dunes, an affordable apartment community in Marina that will provide much-needed housing to residents that earn a range of incomes under a state program.

The 140-apartment community will have two locations – at Imjin Parkway and 4th Avenue, and 2nd Avenue and 5th Street – that will be home to early-in-their career professionals saving for their first home to retirees living on a fixed income. The apartment communities are less than a mile apart and will share the name and staff, but each will have its own amenities, including community and fitness rooms. 

Terracina at The Dunes is the first apartment community for USA Properties in Monterey County and part of The Dunes master-planned community, a 1,237-home development on the former Fort Ord by Marina Community Partners. The Dunes features a large shopping center – including Target, Kohl’s, Bed Bath & Beyond and Old Navy stores – neighborhood restaurants and a movie theater.

“It’s a beautiful master-planned community in a high-cost market – in a coastal location,” said Jatin Malhotra, Vice President of Acquisitions for USA Properties.

The beach is just a few blocks away, along with California State University-Monterey Bay, several parks and numerous schools, including Marina High School.

USA Properties Fund acquired the two parcels, 6.5 acres in total, from Marina Community Partners LLC for a nominal fee. Marina Community Partners also provided USA Properties with almost $8 million to subsidize the development of Terracina at the Dunes and make affordable housing a reality. Without the subsidy, construction of the Terracina at the Dunes would not be possible.

“Marina Community Partners is proud to join with USA Properties Fund to provide a range of housing affordability at The Dunes,” said Don Hofer, Vice President for Shea Homes and Marina Community Partners. “The Terracina at The Dunes community will provide much-needed housing for those who work in the community or those who prefer to live close to the amenities of the Monterey Bay area. This affordable housing would not be possible without the larger Dunes project moving forward, and exhibits Shea Homes’ and Marina Community Partners’ continuing significant commitment to The Dunes master plan and the community of Marina.”

ONE COMMUNITY, TWO SITES AND A WIDE RANGE OF INCOME LEVELS

Terracina at The Dunes is part of a public-private partnership that includes the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), Chase Bank and WNC.

The public-private partnership was critical for the $71 million project to move forward and provide more affordable housing for low-income residents in Monterey County, where more than half of all renters are considered “cost-burdened,” spending at least 30% of their income on housing, according to the Joint Center for Harvard Studies of Harvard University.

Rents for Terracina at The Dunes apartments will be significantly less compared to nearby market-rate units in Marina – and available to residents that earn a wider range of income levels, thanks to CalHFA’s Mixed-Income Program. The state agency issued tax-exempt bonds for the project and provided a long-term permanent loan and subsidy funds through the Mixed-Income Program.

“I am thrilled that CalHFA was able to provide significant financing to construct Terracina at The Dunes in Monterey County, where affordable housing is greatly needed,” said CalHFA Executive Director Tiena Johnson Hall. “By providing apartments for people at a mix of lower income levels, this development will allow local residents to improve their financial and housing situation without having to move away from the community they call home.”

California Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Tia Boatman Patterson

Marina City Manager Layne Long also applauds the project that will increase the city’s affordable housing supply by more than 30%. About 150 families are on a waiting list for the 420 affordable apartments in the beachside community. The average family waits at least four years before moving into affordable housing.

“We are excited that the Dunes development project continues to move forward, including the Terracina project,” Long said.

AFFORDABLE – AND COMFORTABLE

Terracina at The Dunes will be available for low-income residents that meet an expanded range of income limits established by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee. With the program, renters earning 30% to 70% of the area’s median income – about $24,400 to $57,000 for a two-person household leasing a one-bedroom apartment – could qualify for Terracina at The Dunes.

Terracina at The Dunes residents will benefit from substantially lower rents compared to market-rate apartments in Marina. One-bedroom apartment rents will range from about $600 to $1,455 per month. Two-bedroom apartments will lease for $715 to $1,740, while three-bedroom units will rent for about $820 to $2,000.

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Terracina at The Dunes is more affordable and, in many cases, will offer more amenities than nearby market-rate communities.

Both of the Terracina at the Dunes community sites – one will have 92 apartments, the other 48 – will include a community room and fitness room. Other amenities will include computer stations, a basketball court, picnic area, a tot-lot play area and laundry rooms.

Apartments will feature energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures, ceiling fans and low-flow faucets, showers and toilets.

The six three-story buildings – four on one site, two on the other – will have a coastal architecture exterior and use a range of materials, complementing the nearby single-family homes in The Dunes master-planned community. Construction should be completed in first-quarter 2024.

“Terracina’s design complements The Dunes on Monterey Bay master plan and makes a pretty significant contribution towards the growing need for affordable housing in Monterey County,” Malhotra said.

USA becomes a partner in two affordable apartment communities in Reno

All 132 apartments will remain affordable for decades and an $8 million rehabilitation is planned

USA Properties Fund has become a partner in two affordable apartment communities in fast-growing Reno, ensuring that low-income residents can remain in their homes – and will also soon enjoy the results from a multimillion-dollar rehabilitation of the properties.

USA Properties Fund becomes a partner and manager of Carriage Stone, a 55-and-older apartment community at 695 Center Street, and the former Dakota Crest community at 446 Kirkman Avenue. Community Services Agency and Development Corp., a nonprofit with 13 affordable apartment communities in Reno, is the other partner.

USA Properties, one of the largest affordable apartment community developer-manager-owners in the West, doubles its number of properties in Reno with the partnership.

‘INCREDIBLE NEED TO KEEP THE APARTMENTS AFFORDABLE’

The apartment communities will share the Carriage Stone name after being packaged together in order to receive Nevada Housing Division-awarded bonds for the purchase and rehabilitation of the properties. Under the agreement, Carriage Stone’s 132 combined apartments will remain affordable housing for decades.

“Reno, like most cities in the West, is facing a critical housing shortage, especially when it comes to affordable apartment communities,” said Geoff Brown, President of USA Properties in Roseville, Calif. “We saw the incredible need to keep the apartments affordable, while also enjoying a great opportunity to expand in Reno – and Nevada.”

The apartment communities are less than a half-mile apart, close to shopping centers, restaurants, health care providers – including Renown Regional Medical Center and the VA Medical Center – and the Riverwalk District along the Truckee River.

“The apartment communities are in the heart of everything,” said Steve Gall, Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions for USA Properties. “It’s in an up-and-coming area in the midtown neighborhood.”

The central location coupled with the booming demand for housing that has prompted record-high rents in Reno caused some residents – and housing officials – to worry whether their homes would remain affordable.

“Unfortunately, many of the existing affordable housing projects in the region are being sold to for-profit investors after the affordability period ends and rents are then brought up to market rate,” said Leslie Colbrese, Chief Executive Officer of Community Services Agency and Development Corp. “The affordable housing sector is losing more properties than we are developing, and it’s tough to keep up with the private sector in terms of buying power.”

RENO IS ONE OF THE TOUGHEST HOUSING MARKETS FOR LOW-INCOME RENTERS

The affordable-to-market rate movement has forced many low-income tenants to pay much-higher rents or scramble looking for hard-to-find, lower-priced housing. For example, low-income residents applying for Community Services Agency’s affordable apartment communities have at least a two-year wait, Colbrese said.   

“We need more affordable housing not soon, but now,” she said.

Almost half of extremely low-income renters in Reno are considered cost-burdened, spending at least 30% of their income on housing, one of the highest percentages in the nation, according to the U.S. Housing and Urban Development. Rents for Carriage Stone are below the 30% threshold – and significantly less than nearby market-rate properties.

And Carriage Stone apartments will “remain affordable for another three decades, and will not be brought to market rate and further diminish our already scarce supply of affordable housing,” Colbrese said.

In addition to ensuring that low-income residents have affordable housing, USA Properties and Community Services Agency will spend at least $7.9 million for the rehabilitation of the apartment communities – or about $60,000 per unit, double the minimum required.

New energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting, low-flow showers and toilets, and numerous other improvements are planned for the units. The apartment communities will also get new heating and cooling systems, new roofs and other upgrades, such as improvements to the fitness room, library and TV room at the senior apartment community, and new furniture and outdoor play equipment and upgrades to the swimming pool at the other property.

“The rehab of Carriage Stone ensures the seniors and families living in these communities will be able to continue to afford a welcoming, comfortable and safe place to live,” Colbrese said.

The rehabilitation effort will be completed over an 18- to 24-month period, which will greatly reduce the impact on residents.

“We’re making a long-term investment in these apartment communities, their residents and the region,” Gall said.

Construction starts on Terracina at Whitney Ranch, an affordable community in Rocklin

The 288-apartment community provides working families an opportunity to live close to schools, shopping centers, parks and workplaces  

USA Properties Fund has started construction on Terracina at Whitney Ranch, an affordable apartment community in Rocklin that will provide much-needed housing to residents, from early-in-their career teachers and hard-working couples with children saving for their first home to retirees living on a fixed income.

Terracina at Whitney Ranch – located between University Avenue and Wildcat Boulevard in the Whitney Ranch neighborhood – will provide affordable one- to three-bedroom apartments in a region where rent increases have easily exceeded pay raises during the past several years.

The 288-apartment community will be close to Highway 65, numerous parks, several large office campuses and public schools, including highly-rated Whitney High School. Several major shopping centers – including the Westfield Galleria at Roseville, the largest mall in the Sacramento region – and numerous health care providers are just a few miles away.

“It’s in an excellent neighborhood with first-rate schools, walking trails and a short drive to whatever you need, from grocery stores to movie theaters,” said Geoff Brown, President of USA Properties. “We’ve been working on the project for several years, and we’re happy to see it move forward and help fill the critical need for more affordable housing in the community.”

FIRST APARTMENT COMMUNITY FOR USA PROPERTIES IN ROCKLIN

A market-rate project had been considered for the 11-acre property, but after crunching the figures and looking at numerous options, an affordable apartment community made more sense – for the community and USA Properties, said Jatin Malhotra, Vice President of Acquisitions for USA Properties.

“We’re committed to helping meet the need for more affordable housing and investing back in the community where we live and work,” Malhotra said.

Roseville-based USA Properties has 32 apartment communities in the Sacramento region, but Terracina at Whitney Ranch is the first in Rocklin, a fast-growing city in Northern California. The booming demand has increased housing costs by 15% during the past year in south Placer County, about double the average pay raise for residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Terracina at Whitney Ranch is an important addition to our community, providing working families a new opportunity to live in Rocklin at more affordable rental rates,” said Rocklin Mayor Bill Halldin. “I’m hopeful that many young people who have grown up in town will have a chance to remain here with housing opportunities like Terracina.”

AFFORDABLE RENT, NUMEROUS AMENITIES

Terracina at Whitney Ranch apartments will be significantly less than nearby market-rate apartments and are reserved for residents who earn 30% to 70% of the average median income for Placer County – about $21,750 to $50,750 per year for a two-person household. 

One-bedroom apartment rents are projected to be $515 to $1,275 per month. Two-bedroom apartments will lease for about $606 to $1,518, while three-bedroom units will rent for about $687 to $1,741. Rents could be slightly higher when Terracina at Whitney Ranch is completed in late 2024.

Residents of the apartment community will enjoy a long list of amenities, including a 4,000-square-foot clubhouse with a community room and fitness room; a swimming pool; a courtyard with seating; and a tot-lot play area.

Apartments will feature energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures, ceiling fans and low-flow faucets, showers and toilets. Laundry facilities are also part of Terracina at Whitney Ranch.

Terracina at Whitney Ranch will boast a long list of amenities, including a 4,000-square-foot clubhouse and a swimming pool.

THE ‘ABILITY TO GET CREATIVE’

USA Properties is developing the $104 million Terracina at Whitney Ranch without local or state subsidies, relying only on tax credits, a “kind of unreal” situation in the affordable housing industry, Malhotra said.

“It was all because of our ability to get creative and how we restructured this project,” he said.

Bank of America is the construction and tax credit lender. Citi Community Capital is the permanent lender.

Terracina at Whitney Ranch is the latest project for USA Properties, the 32nd-largest owner of affordable apartment communities in the nation, according to a just-released report by Affordable Housing Finance. The company has about 3,000 apartment units in various phases of development in the West, Brown said.

“Every apartment community helps address the need for more affordable housing – and housing overall,” Brown said. “And every new apartment opens the door to more housing and new opportunities for others.”

USA Properties ranks among the nation’s top affordable developers, moving up nine spots in 2021

USA Properties Fund continues to climb a closely watched affordable housing owners list, and is among the leading developer-owners in the industry nationwide.

USA Properties ranked No. 32 on Affordable Housing Finance’s Affordable Housing Owners 2021 list, moving up nine spots from the previous year. The company had 11,916 affordable units in January 2021, almost 1,200 more than a year earlier.

The Roseville-based company’s fast-paced growth is attributed to developing and building more affordable apartment communities, not through acquisitions like many others on the list.

USA Properties has been aggressively building affordable housing for more than four decades and has increased production in recent years. The company has announced several affordable apartment communities during the past year, from Lancaster in Southern California to Portland, Oregon, a new market for USA Properties.


CHECKING THE FIGURES
  • USA Properties is the 32nd-largest affordable housing owner in the U.S., with more than 11,900 units in January 2021.
  • The company started construction on 375 affordable units in 2021, with another 3,000 units in some form of development.

“We’re very proud of our accomplishments and being recognized on the Affordable Housing Finance lists, which is only possible through the commitment and hard work of our team and partners,” said Geoff Brown, President and CEO of USA Properties. “We are deeply aware of the need for more affordable housing in the West, and we are working hard to meet the demand and provide quality housing and first-rate communities.”

ALMOST 400 AFFORDABLE UNITS STARTED IN 2021 — ANOTHER 3,000 ARE IN THE WORKS

Each affordable apartment community can take 18 to 24 months to build once construction starts, creating a roller-coaster-like effect on the Affordable Housing Finance’s Affordable Developers list, which ranks the number of units started during the year.

USA Properties ranked No. 45 in 2021, down from No. 13 in 2020. The company started 375 affordable units in 2021, compared to 983 units in 2020, according to the Affordable Housing Finance report.

The company has about 3,000 affordable units in various phases of development or rehabilitation from the Pacific Northwest to Southern California. USA Properties is one of the largest affordable apartment community developer-builder-manager-owners in the West.

USA Properties expanded into market-rate apartment communities several years ago, with developments in the Bay Area, the Sacramento region and Southern California. But Affordable Housing Finance only looks at affordable apartment communities for its annual list.

“We are as committed as ever to affordable housing, which has been the foundation of the company and our success,” said Brown, whose father, J.B. Brown, started the company in 1981. “But it’s very important to remember that every new home, affordable and market-rate, helps fill the incredible demand and need for more housing.”

Just some of our affordable apartment communities under construction

USA Properties expands into Oregon with The Canopy Apartments in Portland

Partnership with Northwest Housing Alternatives and Oregon Housing and Community Services starts construction on apartment community

USA Properties Fund, one of the fastest-growing and leading affordable developer-owner-managers in the West, Northwest Housing Alternatives and Oregon Housing and Community Services are partnering on The Canopy Apartments at Powell, a much-needed affordable apartment community close to public transportation, freeways, schools and several shopping centers in east Portland.

Construction on The Canopy Apartments at Powell – located at 12439 SE Powell Blvd., about 12 miles east of downtown Portland – has started and should be completed in late 2023. The 169-apartment community will have numerous amenities, including a bike room, a courtyard with a tot lot, a dog wash and a donation pantry, allowing residents to share food resources.

The $63 million development is the first in Oregon for USA Properties Fund, which has more than 90 affordable and market-rate apartment communities in California and Nevada.

Geoffrey Brown portrait

Aggressive efforts to address affordable housing, through legislation and the passing of a bond measure by voters in recent years, have “made it more realistic to develop affordable housing” in Oregon, said USA Properties President Geoff Brown,

“We’ve been looking at expanding to Portland for a while, and The Canopy Apartments is a good fit and a great project to enter the market,” said Brown, who knows the region well, earning a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Willamette University in Salem. “We appreciate the relationships that we have developed and enjoy working with Northwest Housing and OHCS. They are great people who understand affordable housing.”

‘SAFE, STABLE AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR OREGON FAMILIES’

The public-private partnership – including $15.2 million from OHCS’ Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) Housing Program – was critical in taking the apartment community from the drawing board to the 3.8-acre parcel, said Darryl Briley, a Portland-area development consultant working on the project.

“Increasing access to safe, stable and affordable housing for Oregon families is a continued commitment of OHCS,” said OHCS Executive Director Andrea Bell. “Housing is a critical social determinant of health because it is a platform for health, well-being and community. Financing multifamily affordable housing like The Canopy Apartments at Powell is a representation of our ambitious long-term strategy to respond to the housing crisis impacting the most vulnerable communities in Oregon. It is about centering humanity.”

OHCS has funded almost 19,000 affordable rental homes during the first three years of its Housing Plan, and is on pace to easily exceed the goal of 25,000 over five years.

The Portland Housing Bureau has also played a major role in The Canopy Apartments at Powell, waiving millions of dollars in development fees. The city has issued a State of Emergency on Housing and Homelessness, which greatly expedites the permitting process.

SMALLER RENTS, LARGER APARTMENTS

The Canopy Apartments at Powell will provide much-needed affordable housing for residents in the Portland region, where almost half (46%) of households that rent are considered “cost-burdened,” spending at least 30% of their income on housing, according to The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

The Canopy Apartments at Powell is for residents earning less than 60% of the area’s median income – about $58,000 per year for a family of four. Rents will range from less than $1,100 per month for a one-bedroom apartment to just more than $1,500 for a three-bedroom unit.

Those rents are significantly less than nearby market-rate apartments in Portland, according to industry tracker Zumper.

Almost as important as the affordable rents are the size of the units, said Destin Ferdun, Director of Real Estate Development for Northwest Housing Alternatives. About half of the apartments will be three-bedroom units, helping meet an often-overlooked and underserved population in the Portland region – families.

The Canopy Apartments at Powell has a “very cost-effective, efficient use of the space,” Ferdun said.

LONG LIST OF AMENITIES, LESS IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT

The modern contemporary-designed apartment community will have a three- and a four-story building. Amenities will include elevators, laundry facilities on each floor, and ample on-site parking with an electric vehicle charging station.

Apartments will include electric heating; laminate flooring; energy-efficient appliances and lighting; and low-flow faucets, showers and toilets. Apartments can also accommodate tenant-owned air conditioning units, if necessary.

USA Properties, which embraced green-building practices more than a decade ago, has registered with Earth Advantage and expects to receive a Platinum-level certification for the project. Numerous earth-friendly upgrades – including high-performance windows, the installation of a solar-panel system and a commitment to building with local materials – will help boost the performance of The Canopy Apartments at Powell by at least 26% compared to baseline permitted construction, said Eric Foley, Manager of the Multifamily Program for Earth Advantage.  

The Canopy Apartments is “very thoughtful in its design,” Briley said.

JP Morgan Chase and WNC are financial partners on the project. WALSH Construction Co. is the general contractor.

The Canopy Apartments at Powell could be the first of several projects in the Portland region for Roseville, Calif.-based USA Properties.

“Oregon and the Portland community are committed to addressing the overwhelming need for more affordable housing,” Brown said. “And we’re looking forward to finding projects that make sense for us and our partners, and being part of the solution that helps ease the critical shortage of affordable housing in the region.”

USA Properties starts construction on College Creek that will provide housing for a range of incomes

164-apartment community is ‘an example of how partnerships … are an effective way to creating much-needed housing’

USA Properties Fund has started construction on College Creek, an affordable apartment community in Santa Rosa that will provide much-needed housing to residents that earn a range of income levels under a new state program.

College Creek – located at 2150 W. College Avenue, just west of Highway 101 and north of Highway 12 – could be home to early-in-their career school teachers, hardworking couples with children saving for a house, or retirees living on a fixed income.

College Creek “caters to everyone – families, the working class, seniors,” said Jatin Malhotra, Vice President of Acquisitions for USA Properties. “It’s exciting to see this come together.”

The 164-apartment community will be close to downtown Santa Rosa, large shopping centers, health care providers and several schools, including Piner High School and Santa Rosa Junior College.

College Creek is also near the Santa Rosa Creek Trail and Finley Community Park, which includes sports courts, walking trails and a swimming pool. The apartment community is also next to the Westside Transit Center, served by multiple bus lines that provide connections for the Downtown SMART station.

USA Properties acquired the 7.4-acre site from Sonoma County Community Development Commission, one of the partners on the project along with Bank of America and California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA). The public-private partnership was critical for the $69 million development to move forward.

Members of the partnership are committed to the development that ensures more housing for low-income residents in Sonoma County, where half of all households are considered “cost-burdened,” spending at least 30% of their income on housing, according to the California Housing Partnership.

ONE COMMUNITY, A RANGE OF INCOMES

College Creek apartments will be substantially less than nearby market-rate units in Santa Rosa – and available to residents that earn a wider range of income levels, thanks to CalHFA’s Mixed-Income Program.

“I am thrilled to see CalHFA’s Mixed-Income Program help finance affordable housing for residents of Sonoma County,” said Tiena Johnson Hall, Executive Director of CalHFA. “This development is a great example of how partnerships between local and state government, and private affordable housing developers like USA Properties, are an effective way to creating much-needed housing for people at a mix of lower incomes.”

Tiena Johnson Hall

College Creek – the sixth affordable apartment community in Santa Rosa for USA Properties – should be completed in fall 2023.

“We’ve been working with the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County for many years, and we share a commitment to provide quality housing that meets the needs of the community,” said Geoff Brown, President of USA Properties.

The company helped the community recover from the devastating Tubbs Fire in October 2017, providing supplies and support to residents for what was then the largest-ever wildfire in California history.

“As Santa Rosa and the North Bay continue to rebuild after so much housing lost to wildfire, the College Creek project from USA Properties adds new, high-quality affordable housing for residents in the region’s workforce,” said Jason Foster, Bank of America North Bay President. “Bank of America was proud to help finance this important housing project.”

College Creek will be available for low-income residents that meet an expanded range of income limits established by the Tax Credit Allocation Committee. With the program, renters earning 30% to 70% of the area’s median income – about $24,450 to $57,050 for a one-person household leasing a one-bedroom apartment – could qualify for College Creek.

“Sonoma County prospers best when it is a place with housing opportunities across the income spectrum,” said Dave Kiff, Interim Executive Director of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission. “The affordability of the College Creek project’s housing units is part of making Sonoma County that place. We are so thankful that USA Properties has stepped up with county government, the City of Santa Rosa and CalHFA to build it.”

College Creek residents will benefit from substantially lower rents compared to market-rate apartments in Santa Rosa. One-bedroom apartment rents will range from $615 to $1,488 per month, depending on the income of residents. Two-bedroom apartments will lease for $730 to $1,777, while three-bedroom units will rent for $836 to $2,046.

The average one-bedroom apartment rents for about $2,100 in Santa Rosa, according to RENTCafe.

AFFORDABLE – WITH A LONG LIST OF AMENITIES

But affordable does not mean basic or boring for residents at College Creek. The apartment community – a four-story building and two three-story buildings – will offer a long list of amenities, including a community room complete with computer workstations; a fitness room; a swimming pool; a tot lot; and on-site laundry facilities.

Apartments will feature energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures, ceiling fans and low-flow faucets, showers and toilets.

“It will be a very nice apartment community,” Malhotra said. “It’s designed to meet the community’s needs and the neighbors around it.”

USA Properties worked closely with the community, including the City of Santa Rosa and Sonoma County, and neighbors on the project that has been in the planning stages for several years.

“It took a little bit of everything to bring this project to life,” Malhotra said. “It’s a true public-private partnership and a template for how public agencies and developers can work together to create more affordable housing.”

Jatin Malhotra portrait
Jatin Malhotra

Construction starts on Sage at Folsom, an affordable senior apartment community

111-apartment development is blocks from large shopping centers, Highway 50

USA Properties Fund has started construction on Sage at Folsom, bringing much-needed affordable senior housing at a “market-rate location” to one of the fastest-growing and highest-rated livable cities in California.

Sage at Folsom, located at 75 Scholar Way, will offer affordable housing for residents 55 years and older at a range of income levels with a long list of amenities – including a community garden, dog park and a refrigerated storage area for food deliveries.

“We’ve enjoyed much success in Folsom, and are looking forward to providing more affordable housing for seniors looking to live in a very vibrant neighborhood and thriving city,” said Geoff Brown, President of USA Properties Fund.

‘Main and Main of Folsom’

The 111-apartment community is a few blocks from Folsom Lake College, health care providers, grocery stores and several large shopping centers, including Broadstone Plaza and the Palladio Shopping Center. Sage at Folsom is also close to Highway 50 and less than a block from a new bus stop.

“It’s like the Main and Main of Folsom,” said Gabe Gardner of the USA Properties’ Acquisitions team. “It’s a market-rate location for an affordable community.”

Construction on the $32 million development started in November, and should be completed in first-quarter 2023. Bank of America and the City of Folsom are investment partners on the project.

“Bank of America Community Development Banking is pleased to help finance this much-needed affordable housing for seniors in Sacramento County,” said CP Parmar, President of Bank of America Sacramento. “Developer USA Properties has done a tremendous job with Sage at Folsom, representing a great example of the impact that public-private partnerships can make in creating more quality affordable housing for those most in need.”

Homes for seniors who earn about $19,150 to $51,000

Fast-rising rents in recent years have greatly increased the need for more affordable housing in Folsom, especially for low-income seniors.

Age-eligible residents will need to earn 30% to 80% of the median income for Sacramento County – about $19,150 to $51,000 per year – in order to qualify for Sage at Folsom. Rents will range from $450 to $1,300. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Folsom is about $2,330, according to RENTCafe.

Sage at Folsom is affordable, not basic.

The one-bedroom homes will feature energy-efficient appliances and light fixtures, ceiling fans and low-flow faucets, showers and toilets. Each of the three floors will include laundry facilities for residents.

Sage of Folsom residents will also enjoy numerous community amenities, including a clubhouse with a kitchenette and great room; a health and wellness center; a patio with dining and seating areas; a Bocce court; community garden and a dog park. Refrigerated food storage, from grocery stores or nearby restaurants, are available to residents.

Clean energy — and EV charging stations

The apartment community will have ample parking, including EV charging stations. And Sage at Folsom’s electricity will come from Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s (SMUD) SolarShare Program, ensuring clean solar is the power source.

Sage at Folsom’s architecture will blend in well with the surrounding neighborhood.

“It’s going to look amazing,” Gardner said. “It will be stunning.”

Sage at Folsom will be the fourth apartment community for USA Properties in the Folsom area, including the award-winning communities of Forestwood at Folsom and Talavera, a market-rate development less than a mile away. The 40-year-old company is one of the largest affordable apartment community developers in the West.

“Every apartment community we build, affordable or market-rate, opens the door to more housing and opportunities,” Brown said.

Folsom, about 25 miles east of the state Capitol in Sacramento, has received numerous national awards for best places to live, family living, finding a job and safety in recent years, including honors from Money magazine and WalletHub.

“We’re looking forward to Sage at Folsom residents enjoying the community and all it has to offer, from the historic district to Folsom Lake,” Brown said.

Talavera honored as Sacramento Business Journal’s Best Real Estate Project of the Year

The following is from the Sacramento Business Journal’s Best Real Estate Projects of the Year section and appears as published Sept. 10.   

By Danny King

When it came to getting the community support necessary for the city of Folsom to sign off on the Talavera Apartments site, the process was an uphill battle. Literally.

Having started work on the project in 2015, Roseville-based developer USA Properties Fund had to contend with residents on the ridge to the east of the 9.7-acre site, including concerns over the project’s height and road access.

Additionally, while the city was pushing for a higher number of units, the neighbors wanted fewer apartments.

“The people on the hill wanted to be involved and have an opinion,” said Kobi Moses, principal at Los Angeles-based GMPA Architects, the project’s architect. “So we had to take that into consideration and become a good neighbor.”

After many meetings that included — among other things — the presentation of three-dimensional renderings, the project underwent three substantial design phases before being ultimately approved with 293 apartment units and a rejiggered entrance from a neighborhood street to the busier Broadstone Parkway.

“Initially, the city wanted more units for the site than what we were doing, and neighbors never want more units, so we had to back off,” said USA Properties Fund CEO Geoff Brown, whose company had previously developed two affordable housing projects in the city. “It wasn’t an easy process.”

(Story continues after the image gallery.)

The project, which broke ground in 2017, had a built-in advantage of being located across the street from the Palladio at Broadstone, the 700,000-square-foot “lifestyle” center that was completed in 2011.

The $84.5 million apartment complex, which is spread across four buildings, was also designed to cater to contemporary residential needs. In addition to typical amenities such as a pool and a fitness center, Talavera Apartments also features smart-home appliances, refrigerated lockers, electronic door locks, a do-it-yourself bike-repair center and a “pet park and wash” area. The project’s layout was designed to create a courtyard-type atmosphere between the buildings.

And despite being completed last August, or about five months after Covid-related restrictions were put into place, Talavera — which is managed by Greystar — benefited from the combination of a virtual-leasing program and what Brown said was a steady increase in interest from prospective renters looking to relocate from the San Francisco Bay Area.

“We did it a little bit on the fly, but we had a lot of collateral with the photos,” Brown said of the virtual leasing program. “It was just a matter of converting them.”

Additionally, 24 of the one-bedroom units and 132 of the two-bedroom apartments were designed to include dens, and while that amenity wasn’t added with stay-at-home mandates in mind, it proved to be invaluable for prospective renters who’d been granted the freedom to work from home.

“Many times, we’ve purposely made the bedrooms and other spaces a little smaller to gain a den or work-alcove within the units,” said Moses, whose firm’s work has spanned across the multi-unit residential, mixed-use, commercial, hospitality and master-planning sectors during its 30-year history. “We didn’t know we’d have a pandemic, but we as a company have been advocating giving people space to work from home probably for the last 20 years since laptop computers became so popular.”

As a result, Talavera was 90% leased by March 2021. And while the average rents in Folsom range from about $1,500 a month to about $2,300 a month for studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms, according to Apartments.com, Talavera’s rents are about $200 a month higher than those figures.

“On one side of it, you’ve got retail and restaurants. You’ve got freeway access, you’ve got parks nearby, you’ve got Folsom Lake College, you’ve got a good school district, and you’ve got medical nearby,” said Brown. “It’s just a really great location.”

Fast Facts

Talavera Apartments

Details: 293-unit apartment complex spread across four buildings

Completed: August 2020

Cost: $84.5 million

Developer: USA Properties Fund Inc.

Contractor: USA Construction Management Inc.

Architect: GMPA Architects Inc.

USA celebrates Adega opening, details plans for a second phase

Luxury apartment community in Rohnert Park offers a long list of amenities, including a clubroom, saltwater pool, dog park and
EV-charging stations

USA Properties Fund celebrated the grand opening July 28 of Adega in Rohnert Park, the first of two market-rate apartment communities helping meet the need for more housing in Sonoma County.

The luxury apartment community – located at 541 Carlson Avenue, a few blocks west of Highway 101 and just north of the Rohnert Park Expressway – is part of the Five Creek subdivision, which includes housing, retail and a community park built by USA Properties.

The Adega apartment community is close to numerous stores – including Costco, Target and Walmart – dozens of local and national chain restaurants, and several health-care providers.

The 135-apartment Adega is the first of two apartment communities by USA Properties in the former Rohnert Park Stadium neighborhood. Construction on the adjacent Adega II could begin in April and bring another 74 apartments – including seven affordable units – to the much-in-demand Rohnert Park. The second phase could be completed in late 2023.

USA Properties already has eight apartment communities – including seven affordable communities – in Sonoma County, from Petaluma to Santa Rosa. Another apartment community is in nearby Napa.

“We’ve enjoyed much success in the region, providing quality homes for residents and developing strong relationships with the cities,” said Geoff Brown, President of USA Properties. “We’re proud to be part of an effort to help transform the Stadium neighborhood, including putting in a community park available to everyone.”

USA Properties’ Gabe Gardner talks about the new apartment community during an event July 28.

Room(s) to roam: Three-bedroom apartments available

Rohnert Park, like many communities in California close to major cities, has attracted the attention of residents seeking lower-priced housing and more space during the past 18 months. Adega, which offers three-bedroom apartments with as much as 1,418 square feet, started leasing just as the Covid pandemic started.

“We were pleasantly surprised with how well Adega leased up, especially given the challenges and restrictions,” said Milo Terzich, Vice President of Development for USA Properties. “Both apartment communities will be fulfilling the city’s master plan for the area.”

And helping fulfill a need for more housing in Rohnert Park.

“We understand there is a housing shortage, and we want to be part of the solution,” said Rohnert Park Mayor Gerard Giudice. The city recently approved an ordinance that requires affordable housing for new apartment communities with 50 or more units. “We are definitely doing our part.”

(Story continues below photo gallery)

Outdoor kitchen, barbecues and firepits make year-round get-togethers easy

When the second phase is completed, the Adega apartment community will have a combined 209 units, offering one- to three-bedroom homes. Apartment features include wood plank-style flooring, Energy Star stainless-steel appliances, quartz countertops, automatic roll-down window shades, and full-size washers and dryers.

The combined apartment communities include a clubroom with a catering kitchen and fireplace; a saltwater pool and spa; fitness room; an outdoor lounge area with fireplaces and firepits; an outdoor kitchen area with barbecues; a dog park and pet-wash area; and electric vehicle charging stations.

The Adega I apartment community, with a total cost of about $51.2 million, is the latest market-rate project for USA Properties. The Roseville-based company has been expanding into market-rate developments the past several years.

USA Properties, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, is one of the largest affordable apartment community developer-owner-managers in the West.

“We are committed to creating outstanding communities, whether they are affordable or market-rate housing,” USA Properties’ Brown said. “Each new apartment is critical to meeting the need for more housing in the state, and opens the door to a new home for residents.”

USA Properties sells Harvest at Fiddyment Ranch in Roseville

Opened less than a year ago, Harvest at Fiddyment Ranch in Roseville has fulfilled one prediction made when it went up for sale: a triple-digit sales price.

The 300-unit apartment property developed by USA Properties Fund Inc. sold for $111.34 million earlier this month to Bridge Partners, out of Walnut Creek.

A message left with Bridge Partners wasn’t returned, while USA Properties Fund President Geoff Brown said it was a property to be proud of.

“We developed a high-end, quality apartment community with a long list of amenities in an excellent location in one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, and that helped drive the incredible interest,” Brown said in an email. “We’re extremely proud of what we accomplished with Harvest at Fiddyment Ranch, and the sale will help fund our future apartment communities.”

On a per-unit basis, Harvest at Fiddyment Ranch sold for about $371,000, likely among the highest on that basis this year so far. Occupancy at the time of sale wasn’t available, but was at 96% when the property hit the market in February.

Units at Harvest at Fiddyment Ranch range from one to three bedrooms and 771 to 1,258 square feet. Amenities include quartz countertops and laundry appliances in every unit, a heated pool/spa, a fitness center and outdoor gas grills.

CBRE Capital Markets and CBRE Sacramento Multifamily brokered the deal. The same brokerage has listed two other large, suburban apartment properties in recent weeks: 260-unit Garnet Creek in Rocklin and 410-unit Autumn Ridge in Citrus Heights.

A representative of CBRE was unavailable to discuss the new listings further. But in a news release, the brokerage stated it believed both properties would each sell for $100 million or more.

Garnet Creek, by Cresleigh Homes, is the newer of the two, built in 2018. Autumn Ridge is owned by Oakmont Properties and was built in 1986. Leasing is at 99% and 96%, respectively. Records don’t show any sale for Garnet Creek since it was built, while Autumn Ridge last sold in 2012 for an undisclosed price.

Research firm Yardi Matrix’s May report on multifamily rents offers evidence of why such properties are commanding high prices. According to the report, the Sacramento region saw a 8.3% gain in rents over the last year, the third highest of any region in the U.S.

In particular, rents at “lifestyle” properties — usually newer properties where residents rent by choice — rose by about 12% locally over the last year. The lifestyle description would apply to both Harvest at Fiddyment Ranch and Garnet Creek.

Lifestyle apartment properties have gotten a new boost of attention over the last year from Bay Area residents, working remotely because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In some cases, the cheaper rents in the Sacramento region have compelled a move even as they’re uncertain about putting down money for a single-family home in a highly competitive local real estate market.

(This post first appeared in the Sacramento Business Journal on June 15, 2021. The story appears as published on the Business Journal website.)