Construction Begins on Heritage House and Valle Verde Subdivisions | Local News

Finally, the Heritage House and Valle Verde developments in North Napa, intended to accommodate a mix of chronically homeless and very low- to middle-income Napa residents, are moving forward.

More than two years after the Napa City Council approved the two projects — amid intense resistance from neighbors — about 100 people, largely representatives from multiple groups who helped push the project forward , gathered for a dusty and sunny inauguration ceremony on Friday. Construction on both projects is expected to be completed in the summer of 2023, and the 90 units created will be 100% occupied by the end of this year, according to lead developer Burbank Housing.

Heritage House is slated to be located at 3700 Valle Verde Drive as an “adaptive reuse” of the Sunrise Assisted Living Center, which has not been used in over a decade. It will provide 66 one-bedroom units – 58 studios and eight one-bedroom units. Half will be reserved for Napa’s chronically homeless and the other half for low-income residents.

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Abode Services, Napa County’s homelessness service provider, will provide on-site support to Heritage House, a permanent supportive housing complex that will provide case management, mental health treatment, resources for placement and other aids.

Valle Verde Apartments is a new construction of 24 multi-family apartments – 12 one-bedroom, six two-bedroom and six three-bedroom units – on the currently vacant lot next to the Heritage House at 3710 Valle Verde Drive.

During the ceremony, a series of speakers reflected on the years of collaboration that have gone into the project. Tim Streblow, administrator of the Gasser Foundation, briefly traced the history of the site. He noted, for example, that the foundation purchased the site from Bridge Housing Corp. in 2016 for more than $5 million, after a failed attempt by Bridge and the City of Napa to create a 57-unit affordable housing complex known as the Napa Creekside Apartments. .

Residents at the time had successfully sued to block the project, arguing that the environmental studies were not sufficient, according to earlier reports from the registry. This result, along with rising development costs, led Bridge to abandon its plans for the complex in early 2016 and sell the property to the Gasser Foundation.

Streblow said the foundation entered into a joint development agreement with Burbank in 2018. After several Napa City Council and planning commission meetings that culminated in project approvals in February 2020, the team has worked to develop building plans and set up several rounds of grants. . And once funding was secured — using more than a dozen sources — the foundation donated the land to Burbank.

“It’s been six long years of overcoming many obstacles, but we’ve been able to start building all 90 new affordable units, a truly commendable effort,” Streblow said.

Napa Mayor Scott Sedgley said the projects represent “collaboration at its peak” and thanked those involved in the project, including the Gasser Foundation, Burbank, Napa County, State Department of Housing and Community Development, Providence Queen of the Valley Medical Center and now-retired municipal housing manager Lark Ferrell.

“True collaboration is the dedication of the many organizations here today who have come together for a common purpose: to provide much needed housing that is affordable and offers a component of support services to the most vulnerable in our community,” said Sedgley. .

Terry Wooten, Queen of the Valley’s chief executive, said the project represents the hospital’s “core values ​​of compassion, dignity and justice”. Abode Services CEO Louis Chicoine said Abode is looking for every possible opportunity to relocate homeless people, and the Heritage House project is a prime example of a project that will achieve this goal.

“This is a great opportunity in this project to provide permanent supportive housing,” Chicoine said. “And this type of housing is now becoming popular across the state, thank goodness. With our huge social problem of homelessness, there has been a revelation that we really need to start focusing on housing people who are in the streets, who are at risk of becoming homeless because they cannot afford very expensive housing in our state.

Napa County Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht said the city council showed political courage by twice passing plans for an affordable housing project, despite neighborhood opposition on both occasions. He said most of the time when neighbors talk about political courage, it means they want elected officials to “vote like I want you to vote.” But public officials have shown “real political courage”, he said, because creating an affordable housing complex is the right thing to do.

Wagenknecht also said the Heritage House is aptly named given that a high percentage of homeless people in Napa County are from Napa.

“We are here, we are all here, to form a beloved community,” Wagenknecht said. “And that’s going to be beloved infrastructure, the beloved infrastructure that we need for the beloved community.”

You can reach Edward Booth at 707-256-2213.

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