A long-planned Roseland housing community designed with affordable prices in mind is moving forward in a big way, with construction poised to ramp up over the next month or so and the first crop of residents possibly moving in early next year.
At the Paseo Vista subdivision on Dutton Avenue in southwest Santa Rosa, houses in the first phase will start at $390,000 — a far cry below Sonoma County’s latest median home price of $644,000. The project keeps prices low through dense development and by having key sections of the homes built at a factory in Riverside before being shipped north for assembly in place by construction crews.
The 12.2-acre site has for about two years hosted three model homes advertising the property’s future potential. As final subdivision maps are recorded next week — they were previously approved by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors in August — the developers expect houses to arrive in mid-October, putting the community on track to welcome its first residents sometime after the first of the year.
The project is planned to include 122 single-family townhouses for sale and 15 triplexes, each of which will include a studio, a one-bedroom and a two-bedroom apartment for rent, the developers said. Among the 45 rental apartments, 32 units will be reserved for low income and very low income households, according to county officials.
“We want to be the lowest-priced new home subdivision in the county,” said Michael Gasparini, who is developing the project with partner Allan Henderson. “There’s a large pool of buyers who can’t afford homes 450 (thousand dollars) and up who can afford a brand-new home under 450. That’s our market.”
Demand for the community has remained strong over the past two years, and it picked up even more once people noticed renewed site activity over the summer, according to Gasparini. About 40 people have joined a waiting list for the initial 29 homes offered in the project’s first phase, he said.
Paseo Vista has been a long time coming. Gasparini and Henderson bought the site in 2000 when it was an auto junkyard, then spent the next several years cleaning it up to state standards using only private funds. When the housing market collapsed because of the economic crisis, they were the only ones left to develop the project they envisioned for the property.
“We’re developers by default,” said Henderson, an asphalt businessman.
Both are Santa Rosa natives.
Timing has been further delayed in recent years because the project lies in an unincorporated area in the process of being annexed by the city of Santa Rosa.
“It’s been a long process, primarily due to the fact that we straddle the county-city approval process,” Gasparini said. “There was a lot of mutual back and forth satisfying both county and city standards.”
Supervisor Lynda Hopkins, who represents Roseland, stressed the importance of Paseo Vista’s location within an existing urban area, rather than adding sprawl on the city outskirts, and close to transportation options. The site is less than 2 miles away from the downtown Santa Rosa SMART station.
Hopkins called the subdivision a “step in the right direction.”
“We need more housing stock in Sonoma County, and this is an example of development in the right place,” she said. “We’re looking for city-centered growth, we’re looking for transit-oriented development, we’re looking at maintaining our agricultural areas and open space — and to do that, we need to focus on infill.”