An apartment complex that a Bay Area couple built at the height of the real estate boom has found new life as housing for low-income Modestans.
The Palm Valley Apartments, on East Coolidge Avenue just off McHenry Avenue, was built for about $5 million in 2005. The Stanislaus County Housing Authority bought the three-building complex for $3.9 million earlier this year.
Now, 36 of its 40 units are rented to low-income families. Rents range from $465 for one-bedroom units to $755 for the largest two-bedroom units. Tenants must meet income requirements. A family of four can rent one of the apartments if they make $28,900 to $47,700 a year.
When the complex opened in 2006, rents ranged from $725 to $825 a month. At one point, the complex was for sale for $6 million, said Bill Fagan, Housing Authority executive director. With an eye toward boosting the city's supply of low-income rentals, the Housing Authority made an offer when the asking price dropped.
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"This was kind of a find," Fagan said. "Usually you don't get units this new that are out for sale in the marketplace."
The city loaned the Housing Authority $1 million for the project. On Tuesday, the City Council approved a minor change to the loan agreement, asking the Housing Authority to provide a schedule and budget for the project.
The three-story buildings feature units with balconies or patios. The apartments range in size from 467 square feet to 911 square feet.
The Housing Authority has spent roughly $80,000 to $100,000 to spruce up the complex. Work is expected to start next week on a new gate outside the complex, Fagan said.
The housing glut that followed the real estate bust has created new opportunities for nonprofit groups that provide housing for lower-income people. The Housing Authority has used federal money to buy 41 single-family houses countywide. They'll be sold to lower-income families.
"Housing is one of those key elements," Fagan said. "If we can provide it, we can assist in the economic turnaround by providing housing for working people."