Construction of large housing starts in downtown Windsor

The largest single residential development to be built within the city limits since Windsor’s inception nearly 30 years ago is now under construction downtown.

The condos and cottages project, which is slated to be built on about 18 acres of land, was first identified as an approved project in 2012, according to Windsor Community Development Director Patrick Streeter. He said the company has experienced its share of delays as it has been remedied over the past 10 years, mostly due to funding failures.

Dubbed Vintage Oaks on the Town Green, the design of the project intentionally preserves as many oaks as possible, about 150 years old or older, and features plenty of open spaces and a community building.

“A lot of the negative comments in the past have been about the loss of the oaks,” Streeter said. “Incorporating as many oaks as possible is a good faith move.”

Developer Ryan Hauck of Pebble Creek Development based in Alpine, Utah, said the first phase of 120 rental units is expected to take place within 18 months. He said the demolition of the old caravan foundations and the disposal of trash and plants on the property by Auckland general contractor Zcon began in early March, and workers are now rectifying the site. An official official opening was held last month.

“The main focus for us as a community is to meet our housing needs,” Streeter said. “Windsor is set to be just under 1,000 units (to be planned under the state’s Regional Housing Needs Allocation Policy). To see a major development adding a lot of units in a central location, the walk is perfectly in line with what we hope the policies will do. We want to accommodate all levels of housing” .

None of the 387-unit homes, which cost $150 million, were considered affordable, despite $2 million in replacement fees being paid at the time the building permits were issued. Streeter and Hook said they could be used to build affordable units elsewhere.

New York-based owner Mosaic Real Estate Investors acquired the land last year in default when a former Hollywood developer, Bob Psino, was unable to secure financing despite a two-year extension granted by the borough. The company hired Hauck to develop it.

Although the project is not affordable for everyone, those who can afford to move into this development may leave behind more affordable units, Streeter said.

“Transformation creates opportunities at all levels of housing,” he said.

Windsor councilor Deb Fudge said she “struggled very hard” during the vote on the first project, proposed by developer Bill Gallagher, to hold low- or middle-income housing units, but lost.

However, she is happy to see the project moving forward.

“It’s close to downtown services and the SMART station,” Fudge said. “It’s much-needed accommodation, especially in downtown Windsor. There are some green aspects. There is solar power in the community building and charging for cars, both private and public.”

Stacked apartments serviced by lifts are set for rent at $2,400 to $3,200 per month at current market rates. Townhouses with a two-car garage will rent from $3,200 to $4,200 per month, Hawke said, although the price could go up by the time it’s completed.

Plans call for a mix of one, two and three bedroom apartments in buildings up to four floors. The list of interests will be announced at the beginning of 2023.

“Demand is very high in Windsor,” he said. “North Bay – Windsor, Santa Rosa, Healdsburg and even Petaluma – doesn’t have a lot of rentals.”

Hook said the two future phases would begin with a year interval.

Streeter said that the site “has been an eye-opener off the Green City for far too long. The city has invested a lot in our city center, and having a big project like this is refreshing for a lot of people.”

You can reach writer Kathleen Coates at [email protected] or 707-521-5209.

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