Corona, CA: Residential project advances urban vision

It’s rare to see a large-scale residential project under construction in the Corona area these days, but one building project in the city’s redevelopment zone is in full swing, pushing ahead the city’s vision to create an urban hub.

The bustling site of framed buildings is on West Rincon Street, west of North Main Street and south of River Road, where crews are at work on a five-building, 404-unit apartment complex on nearly 14 acres.

The project is part of an effort to turn Corona’s North Main Street into an urban hub of homes and shops served by buses and trains stopping at and around the nearby Metrolink station. The area currently is a mix of businesses, some of which have closed because of the sluggish economy or moved because of redevelopment plans.

The new complex brings a residential element to the area, bordered by industrial development to the west and commercial projects on the other sides.

Development plans show the project calls for roughly 30 units per acre. The apartments would start out as rentals with the option to be sold as condominiums in the future, city Planning Manager Terri Manuel said.

Construction began in August, the only major residential project under way in Corona, city building official Rebecca Wisniewski said.

“It’s good to see that we’re getting large projects that are vertical, as opposed to single-family dwellings, because we don’t have that much space now,” Wisniewski said.

Newly appointed Mayor Eugene Montanez said during his swearing-in this month that a project of this scale is a good sign to show the city is moving forward.

Real estate broker Homa Javadi, of H and A Realty in Ontario, which serves the Inland area and Orange County, said the Corona market could handle a development of that size because Orange County residents still look to the bedroom community to find housing and commute over the county line.

“Believe it or not, there’s not enough inventory on the market. Right now our main business is single-family residences,” which Javadi says includes condominiums. “It’s not going to be completed overnight. So we’re all figuring within the next three to five years we’re all recovering. I think there’s going to be demand for it.”

He said developers have been building cautiously, a few units at a time, in response to sluggish market demand. That has added to a shortage of inventory, Javadi said.

No comments: