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Ceres has not had a new apartment complex since 2004. That will change soon

An artist rendering shows one of the buildings in a 64-unit apartment complex at Service and Morgan roads in southwest Ceres, California. It won approval from the City Council on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.
An artist rendering shows one of the buildings in a 64-unit apartment complex at Service and Morgan roads in southwest Ceres, California. It won approval from the City Council on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019.

Ceres will get its first new apartment complex in 15 years – 64 units near the southwest corner of town.

The City Council voted unanimously Monday night for the project, on vacant land at the northwest corner of Morgan and Service roads.

The apartments will be rented at market rates, rather than subsidized, said Tom Westbrook, director of community development for the city.

Property owner Jaskarn Chahal could not be reached for comment about the exact rents or the construction timeline.

The project comes amid a tight rental market in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. It is exacerbated by the economic boom in the Bay Area, where a shortage of new housing forces long commutes.

Ceres is too small to be covered in RentCafe’s monthly survey of market-rate complexes with 50 or more units. It found an average rent of $1,224 in Modesto in September. Turlock averaged $1,258.

Westbrook said the last complex to be built in Ceres was the Rivercrest Apartments. They are near the southeast corner of Whitmore Avenue and Mitchell Road.

The new project will have 16 two-story buildings with varying numbers of apartments. About a fifth of the 4.85-acre site will have a commercial use that has not been determined. Westbrook said it is intended to serve the neighborhood rather than a wide area.

No other apartment projects are in the works for Ceres for now, he said.

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John Holland covers breaking news and has been with The Modesto Bee since 2000. He has covered agriculture for the Bee and at newspapers in Sonora and Visalia. He was born and raised in San Francisco and has a journalism degree from UC Berkeley.
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