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Vintage Park project of assisted-living and small apartments proposed for Sonoma neighborhood

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The residential development group that proposed the controversial First Street East project has announced plans to sell the property to Jason Reyes, a multi-generation operator of senior assisted living facilities in the North Bay, conditional on city approval of his project.

Plans for what is currently to be known as Vintage Park, according to advance information received from Caymus Development Co., the present owners of the 28-acre property, include approximately 60 assisted living units and 20 memory care units and facilities on the south part of the property adjacent to Vintage House.

An additional 27 rental units are proposed for the rest of the property, 20 percent of which will be deed-designated as affordable housing units, according to JJ Abodeely, an investor in the property.

Caymus’s proposal, at one time known as the Cloisters, went through several iterations between 2014 and 2017, most of which involved a hotel component that evoked opposition from a group of neighbors and other area residents known under the group name, Protect Sonoma. In September of last year, Caymus announced it was dropping plans for a hotel component for the property to focus on meeting Sonoma’s housing needs.

Abodeely said that Reyes had already met twice with neighbors within a 500-foot radius of the project to outline his proposal, in December and January. “As with a lot of things, the more support there is from the community, the easier it is,” said Abodeely.

Members of the Protect Sonoma group who live within the 500-foot radius confirmed they had met with Reyes and his partners to hear their plans for the property, and they were reported to be impressed.

A third meeting to air Reyes’s proposal has been announced for Monday, March 26, which will be open to the public. It will be held at Vintage House, at 5:30 p.m. Abodeely said Reyes will present updated plans based on input from the neighbors at the earlier meetings. Given the proximity to the senior center at Vintage House, and the projects proposed name as Vintage Fields, an association between the two might seem likely. But to this point, no just formal arrangement has taken been reached.

But Reyes is quoted in an upcoming press release as saying, “We are enthusiastic about the prospect of partnering with Vintage House to bring programming options to Sonoma’s seniors,” in addition to providing affordable-by-design housing in the small-format apartments of between 1,000 and 1,400 square feet.

“Jason’s vision for 27 small format apartment units held for rental also conformed to our desire for the property,” said Bill Jasper, another investor in the First Street East property. “We hope the community will continue to support him during the application and planning process.”

Jasper is also an investor in Sonoma Media Investments, which publishes the Index-Tribune.

Reyes is the operator of similar assisted-living facilities in Rockville, Fairfield and Vacaville and is said to be building several more facilities in California. He has been at the previous meeting with the First Street neighbors, and will be present at Monday’s meeting as well.

Abodeely asserted that the sale of the property is contingent upon Reyes receiving a conditional use permit and other approvals needed to build the intended project. Sonoma Planning Director David Goodison confirmed that Reyes had spoken with the city about his development proposal, but no application has yet been filed.

“Reyes wants the entire community to know it is welcome to attend,” the Monday meeting, said Abodeely, and he reiterated that Reyes will incorporate feedback from the meeting into his formal application.

Email Christian at christian.kallen@sonomanews.com.

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