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The partners involved in the project held a groundbreaking ceremony in the building at California Street and Weber Avenue for city officials and reporters Thursday morning. No actual ground was broken, however. Construction on the project began March 23.
The partners, Cal Weber Associates LP; DFA Development LLC; Riverside Charitable Corporation, Inc.; and PNC Real Estate, hope the affordable urban housing development will be a catalyst for development in downtown Stockton.
“We’ve seen in other cities a workforce housing or an affordable housing project is usually the catalyst to bringing not only families downtown, but it also allows people to see that it will work,” said Chris Flaherty of DFA Development.
The development, at the southeast corner of California Street and Weber Avenue will provide 40 units — 28 apartments with two bedrooms and one bathroom and 12 larger apartments with three bedrooms and two baths.
Cal Weber 40 is a mix of old and new. It involves the renovation of the 123-year-old Cal Weber Building and the 88-year-old McKeegan Building. There will be exposed brick and the trusses on the top floor will be visible. Apartments on the third floor will have ceilings 12 feet or higher.
The exterior, however, has been redesigned to give the buildings “residential scale,” said architect Lars Fredrik Gullberg of Artifex West Studio. Each unit will have its own balcony.
The apartments will be solar powered. The building will have a computer lab, a private playground and dedicated parking.
“It’s going to be something that I think any of us would want to live in,” said Flaherty.
Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva said the development sends the signal that the city is moving forward out of its bankruptcy.
“Nothing says a city is healthy again than when we start building again,” he told those gathered for the groundbreaking.
The city of Stockton, PNC Bank, Farmers & Merchants Bank and the Bank of Stockton were involved in financing Cal Weber 40.