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Paso Robles has thousands of new homes and apartments in the works -- here's where

San Luis Obispo Tribune logo San Luis Obispo Tribune 2/11/2020 By Lindsey Holden, The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)

Housing-strapped Paso Robles is planning to add thousands of apartments, townhomes and houses to the east side of the city over the next decade.

City officials have been considering three developments containing a mix of rental and for-purchase housing.

The Planning Commission and City Council recently approved 220 apartments to be built on Creston Road in two separate complexes, although one development is currently going through the appeal process.

And council members on Feb. 20 will look at plans for a 1,200-unit development slated for the former Olsen and South Chandler ranches, to be called Viñedo.

Paso Robles is facing a severe housing shortage. The city has a 1.9% rental vacancy rate and a 1.5% homeowner vacancy rate, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

The city has been trying to attract housing development with incentives for builders, including reduced traffic impact and water and sewer connection fees, said Warren Frace, community development director.

Frace said there’s been a lot of interest from developers looking to build in Paso Robles, and some projects are now reaching the end of a two-year project pipeline.

“Obviously, the economy’s got to be in a position where there’s a demand,” Frace said. “And there’s a demand for housing.”

Here’s an update on the three biggest Paso Robles housing developments currently in the works.

200-unit apartment complex: 1401 Creston Road

The Planning Commission on Jan. 23 approved a 200-unit multi-family apartment complex on Creston Road, directly across the street from Winifred Pifer Elementary School and north of Food 4 Less.

However, the project was appealed and will likely go before the City Council in early to mid-March, said Darren Nash, a city planner.

The development will be made up of 13 buildings and will feature 411 parking spaces, 119 bicycle racks, a fitness/clubhouse building and a swimming pool, according to a city staff report.

The complex will feature 58 one-bedroom apartments, 97 two-bedroom apartments and 45 three-bedroom apartments, all ranging from 645 to 1,194 square feet.

The project is considered to be “affordable by design,” but it does not include deed-restricted or low-income units, according to the staff report.

Applicant Red Tail Acquisition did not respond to requests for comment prior to publication.

20-unit apartment complex: 420 Creston Road

The City Council on Jan. 21 approved a 20-unit multi-family development on Creston Road, near the intersection with North River Road.

The development will include four two-story buildings, four three-story buildings and 20 two-car garages, 21 parking spaces under five solar carports and a shared recreational space, according to a city staff report.

All the apartments will contain three bedrooms and two bathrooms, with an open living room, kitchen and a deck, said Warren Hamrick, the project architect.

The apartments will rent for market-rate prices, the staff report says.

The development likely won’t break ground for at least a year, Hamrick said.

1,233 apartments, townhomes, houses: South Chandler and Olsen ranches

The Planning Commission on Jan. 28 approved plans for Viñedo, a 1,233-unit development on 356 acres of land that include the South Chandler Ranch, Olsen Ranch, Centex and Our Town properties.

The City Council will consider the development on Feb. 20.

Southern California developer Danny Brose’s Olsen Ranch 212 LLC controls most of the property, which is bordered by Hanson Road to the east; Fontana Road, Poppy Lane and Pioneer Trail and Winding Brook roads to the west, and Meadowlark Road to the south, according to a previous Tribune story.

The development will include apartments, townhomes, motorcourt homes, alley homes and small- and large-lot single-family homes, said Mark Zonarich, the project planner.

The apartments will be priced at or below San Luis Obispo County workforce housing rents, Zonarich said. Maximum workforce rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $2,953, according to the county Department of Planning and Building affordable housing standards.

Base-model townhomes will likely be priced in the low-$400,000 range, Zonarich said. Small-lot single-family homes will likely be sold in the mid- to high $500,000s range. Large-lot single-family homes will be priced from the mid-$600,000s to $800,000 and up, he said.

Pending approval, the project will likely break ground in June or July at the earliest, and as late as September or October, Zonarich said. The first phase of construction will include townhomes, alley homes, some larger-lot homes and apartments.

The new units will be complete and ready for sale 18 to 24 months from when construction begins, he said.

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