Construction on new southern Atascadero apartment complex could begin in April

A revived development that’s slated to bring 100 new apartments to southern Atascadero received the city’s approval to pursue a new design last week.

The long-stalled Las Lomas housing complex, where construction stopped in 2008 after the bankruptcy of then-homebuilder R.W. Hertel & Sons, gained approval from the city’s design review committee. The project is at 9000 Calle Milano near Paloma Park.

The approved redesign exchanges the original project’s stone and wood siding for smooth white stucco walls, tile roofs and ironwork. The changes also bring the complex’s internal makeup to 20 one-bedroom units, 60 two-bedroom units and 20 three-bedroom units, according to the city. Twenty of the units will be available at below-market rents.

The committee also allowed the development to become a gated community, something the project’s owners say is highly sought by tenants.

In October, Mike Zappas and Gaylen Little purchased two-thirds of the original project, which gained city approval in 2003 and 2004, for an undisclosed sum to construct eight apartment buildings. The pair also owns Hidden Oaks Apartments off El Camino Real.

Construction on Las Lomas could begin as soon as April, followed by a three-phase buildout based on rental market demands, Zappas said.