H-SANTA MARIA

Feb 25, 2013 8:35 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

New apartment complex on the rise, amidst need for rental housing in Santa Maria

Housing needs are on the rise in Santa Maria. But, more specifically, the City said residents need rentals. Last week, the City's Planning Commission approved a 138-unit apartment complex, set for construction at Miller Street and Plaza Drive, at the earliest, sometime next year. The complex will be called Centennial Square.

The City said the rental demand is based on more people no longer being able to afford home ownership. With that situation, they said there has been a greater interest for multi-family residential units.

Centennial Square will boast three stories, units between one bedroom, two bedrooms, and three bedrooms, and it will spread over six-acres.

The Santa Maria Community Development Planner III, Bill Shipsey, said on Monday, Centennial Square is a great sign of the future.

"In my opinion, the need is related to a high foreclosure rate. And, people have been removed from an ownership situation, into an apartment rental situation," said Shipsey.

Shipsey said times have been tough for some residents of Santa Maria, so this project, which is one of three projects awaiting the City's final approval, is definitely a reaction to the people's needs.

Shipsey said, "Santa maria has always been pro-housing, pro-development, and we're excited to see the activity of new construction coming along."

Anna Seterra rents at Rancho Hermosa, the City's latest apartment project built in 2012. Seterra said she's excited more people, like herself, will be able to have a roof over their heads.

"Especially families- they need the housing. It's a necessity," said Seterra.

Shipsey said it's too early to know if Centennial Square will have subsidized units. He said the next step from here is, the developer, St. Clair International, will have to submit a building permit to the City, and wait for the City's approval.

It could take 18-months to two years for construction on Centennial Square to begin, after final approval from the City.

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