Holtville Planning Commissioner Georgina Camacho (right), Planning Commission chair Ross Daniels (center), and Planning Commissioner Charlie Garcia (left) review the plans for the Sunset Rose Senior Apartments during the Holtville Planning Commission meeting on Nov. 15. | MARCIE LANDEROS PHOTO
HOLTVILLE — A new housing complex, Sunset Rose Senior Apartments, is being planned in phases, with the goal of growing Holtville’s population by drawing seniors from outside the city.
“I think overall, it’ll just bring growth to Holtville. It’ll bring in more residents and help out our population,” Holtville Planning Commission chair Ross Daniels said in an interview.
The Planning Commission approved the conditional-use permit for the complex during its Nov. 15 meeting.
Sunset Rose is set to be built on a 5.29-acre parcel at 704 E. Third St. and will be consist of two buildings of 32 units each, with 64 units total. The developer, AMG & Associates, created a plan to subdivide the parcel into three parcels, so development can happen in phases.
Parcel one will accommodate the construction of the first building, which will house 32 apartment units, while leaving the rest of the acreage vacant, with the intention of moving on to the second phase within the next few years.
The second phase will consist of constructing 32 additional apartment units on the second parcel. The final phase and parcel will consist of building a retention pond and making improvements to the failed sections of the Third Street storm water system, thus improving the storm water system for entire city, according to the Planning Commission.
With multiple senior living housing complexes already in Holtville, the question was asked of Daniels, is there the population to warrant a new complex?
Daniels was candid in his response, saying that no, the city of Holtville does not currently have the senior population to support a new complex. But he said he hopes that the building of the complex will bring in senior residents from around the county to come live in Holtville.
“I see this as more bringing in other people. I don’t know, a family lives here in Holtville but the elderly mom or father lives in El Centro, and they have this nice place where the family could keep an eye on without having to drive El Centro every day. I see something like that happening, filling it up that way,” Daniels said.
Daniels further explained that in order to get larger name-brand companies, like Vons or Starbucks, interested in developing in Holtville, the city will need to greatly expand its current population, which was 6,541 people, according to Census 2020 data.
“To get a decent grocery store, like Vons, we have to have, I think, either 10 or 12,000 residents in the city of Holtville. So at that point, if they were to fill up every unit, they would definitely not just help out with revenue, but also a little bit of growth,” he said.
This is not the first time this project has been in front of the Planning Commission. On Jan. 6, 2020, Holtville approved a permit for the construction of the Sunset Rose Senior Apartments project, but the project was paused at the start of the pandemic. At the time, it was imagined to be a single project rather the current project in phases.
“The process started about two years ago. At that time, this project was conceived as essentially being on one parcel. And it’s still the same number of units that have been proposed, but because of the financial structure of this project, they are affecting to set it by the project, where the parcel into three separate parcels,” said Jeorge Galvan, contract Holtville city planner and principal planner/project manager for The Holt Group, during the Nov. 15 Planning Commission meeting.
AMG & Associates secured the funding necessary to begin development of the complex during the nearly two years the project was old hold, according to Galvan.
“So this project will conceivably be moving forward very quickly,” he said.