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$45M Rocklin Gateway affordable housing project could break ground this summer

City schedules public hearing on bond issuance for long-awaited project
By: Graham Womack, Staff Writer
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Over the past few years throughout the greater Sacramento region, a number of development projects scuttled by the Great Recession have begun to reemerge.

One of them could soon be coming to Pacific Street.

The Rocklin City Council was scheduled to hold a public hearing Tuesday so that Catalyst Housing Group could discuss its application with the California Public Finance Authority for $45 million in tax-exempt bonds to construct a 204-unit housing project at 4750 Pacific Street, the Rocklin Gateway Apartments.

Due to publication deadlines, the Placer Herald couldn’t attend this hearing prior to filing this story.

Rocklin Economic and Community Development Director Marc Mondell said Rocklin won’t be issuing any bonds itself but would willingly offer the developer a public hearing.

“We have a need to provide workforce housing,” Mondell said. “We have a great project that will meet our needs so we’re willing to (provide a hearing).”

Daniel Nethercott, a vice president for The Wolff Company, which is Catalyst’s parent firm, told the Sacramento Business Journal in October 2016 that his company specialized in workforce housing, which the federal government helps fund for workers who qualify.

Mondell said the development team brings a track record for this kind of housing, which Placer County has in short supply.

“They’re not a newcomer to workforce housing,” Mondell said. “They seem very sincere. They’re spending a very significant amount of time and money to advance this project.”

The project will be built on five parcels at the corner of Midas Avenue and Pacific Street owned by previous developer ZL Rocklin LLC, according to county record searches online.

Nethercott told the Business Journal that the previous project in development before the recession would have included 15,000 square feet of ground-level retail. Mondell said a significant amount of commercial space has since been developed in other parts of Rocklin.

“All of that need and demand has been satisfied elsewhere,” Mondell said.

Meanwhile, Rocklin must provide a certain amount of workforce housing per state requirements, Mondell said.

“Any of these workforce housing projects, they’re always financially a challenge to make pencil for a developer,” Mondell said. “I think where we have rebounded out of the recession in South Placer, I think this developer is bullish and believes that this project will be successful, and they’re anxious to move forward now.”

Nethercott, who couldn’t be reached for comment for this story, told the Business Journal that if entitlements for the project came together, construction could commence in the spring. Mondell said the schedule might be a little later than this, but he’s optimistic.

“Unless there was some timing issue with the bond financing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were to break ground late summer, early fall of this year,” Mondell said.