August 21, 2014: Redlands Daily Facts

Author:  Kristina Hernandez

REDLANDS: Progress is being made to the first phase of the Valencia Grove Housing Community on Orange Street and Lugonia Avenue.

After workers completed the process of replacing decades-old plumbing and electric work, buildings are going up.

“Everything was torn out and is brand new,” said Ron Ruhl, a real estate development manager for the Housing Authority of San Bernardino County.

Around 50 construction workers are working on the site to complete a prototype of a portion of it that includes multiple-housing units and attached garages. Once finished and all the kinks are worked out, workers from Silver Creek Industries of Perris will continue the manufacturing of units off-site.

Units will then be transported to the site for installation. The installation could move pretty swiftly, said Ruhl. Once all the bugs are worked out and mass production begins, the site could see the installation of six units per day.

Units on site have tile and carpeted floors, as well as new cabinets and showers. Additional amenities such as appliances and a washer and dryer unit will be added to each unit once installation is complete.

Valencia Grove replaces a 70-year-old low-income housing community that county officials called “outdated.”

Construction of the community will be done in three phases and will offer on-site security. There will also be a multi-use community center with a pool.

Residents who occupied the site before its demolition will have first option on available units, said Ana Gamiz, director of policy and community affairs for the housing authority. Tenants will also have the opportunity to purchase homes under a first-time buyer program.

Now that buildings are making their way to the site, residents have been in contact with the county to get updated information as it is available.

“A lot of work goes into getting things ready that (people) don’t see. But Perera has been working hard since day one,” Gamiz said.

The multi-million dollar Valencia Grove project is made possible through a partnership with the County Housing Authority, Chase Bank, PNC Bank, USModular, Inc., Perera Construction, the city of Redlands and the Redlands Unified School District.

Once completed, the community will have 228 modern, energy efficient mixed-income units that will offer townhomes and single-family homes to residents.

The first phase of the project is taking place on the block of Lugonia and Orange up to Sixth Street and Delaware Avenue and is expected to be finished on April 20, weather permitting, said Jacob Mendrin, a project manager with Perera Construction and Design Inc. who is working in conjunction with USModular, Inc. to help make the project a reality.


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