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More apartments proposed for North Olive Avenue
N Olive apartments
Gilbert George of RBG Construction is hoping to build 20 apartment units on the bare plot of land located at 906, 908 and 930 N. Olive Ave. (ANGELINA MARTIN/The Journal).

As the rental market both locally and nationally continues to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, yet another application to build apartments in town has been submitted to the City of Turlock.

Gilbert George of RBG Construction, a Modesto-based company, is hoping to build apartments on the bare plot of land located at 906, 908 and 930 N. Olive Ave., which he owns. According to documents posted online by the City, the apartments will consist of four two-story townhouse apartment buildings for a total of 20 units complete with garages, parking, fencing and landscaping. The units will be approximately 1,494 to 1,565 square feet in size,

The land had previously housed two homes and poultry structures, which have since been demolished, and construction on the rentals is set to begin in August, should the project be approved. The estimated completion date for the project is October 2022. 

The new proposal is just one of many housing applications submitted to the City in recent months, just as the nation’s rental market approaches a rapid rebound while the pandemic seemingly subsides. According to a June 24 report by Apartment List, May 2021 was the first month where rent prices caught back up with expectations — 14 months after the pandemic first rattled the rental industry. 

The national median rent price recently reached $1,189, just above the projected price of $1,185. According to City of Turlock’s Assistant to the City Manager for Housing and Economic Development Maryn Pitt, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Turlock is currently $1,295 — a 12% increase from the year prior. 

With just a 2% rental vacancy rate in Turlock and an ever-increasing housing market, Pitt said fewer people are able to buy homes in Turlock and rentals are all the more important.

“In addition, we have growing segments in our community that include university students and others who come here for jobs that continue to add demand on our housing supply,” Pitt said. “The City is aware of various housing projects, both homeownership and rental units, that will add about 600 housing units in the next 24 months. I believe there is still a great need for additional housing units for rent and to buy.”

Other rental options are on the way in addition to the North Olive project, including a 348-unit apartment complex planned for the corner of Monte Vista Avenue and North Walnut Road. Additionally, a 36-unit apartment complex on Twentieth Century Boulevard is in the works and a new, two-unit duplex will soon be constructed on the corner of Wayside Drive and North Denair Avenue.

According to RentCafe, 29% of occupied housing units in Turlock are renter-occupied, or 7,421 dwellings. That means 17,761 housing units are owner-occupied and more homes are on the way as well, from the Fairbanks Ranch project on Tuolumne Road near Denair to 32 new homes proposed to be built at the end of Crowell Road.

The new builds come amid a housing shortage in California, which as recently as 2018 was ranked 49th in the United States when it came to housing per capita. Chris Hawke, who is hoping to develop the apartment complex on Monte Vista Avenue, said that Turlock is in need of more housing and apartments.

“I think there has been very little new apartment development in the city of Turlock, so it’s an opportunity for us to bring on a fairly large-sized project of apartments into the community,” Hawke said.