Work Continues on Encanto Apartments Complex in Menifee

Developers and construction crews are moving forward in the early building stages of the Encanto Ap...

Developers and construction crews are moving forward in the early building stages of the Encanto Apartment Homes, a 180-unit complex the developer describes as "pioneering the luxury apartment market in Sun City."

Initial groundwork is taking place at the site, located on Encanto Road just south of McCall Blvd. on the east side of Interstate 215. An city administrative approval package including plans for landscaping, fencing and entrance monuments was completed this week.

The website of Frost Communities, the developer, describes the complex as including a multi-purpose sport court; pool, wading pool and spa; barbecue area; movie theater; clubhouse; tot lot; gym; and business center. Each apartment comes with an appliance package including washer/dryer, microwave, and refrigerator.

RGP Planning and Development Services, the development consulting firm on the project for Frost Communities, is awaiting approval of building permits. There is no completion date listed for the project.

Plans call for an eight-foot combination block and plexiglass wall along Interstate 215 for sound mitigation.

According to Carmen Cave, community development director for the City of Menifee, the project was approved by Riverside County in July of 2006, prior to the city's incorporation. It is part of the Riverside County Integrated Plan, which Menifee inherited upon becoming a city.

Cave said that previous reports describing the Encanto project as "low-income housing" are incorrect. Only 20 percent of the apartment units will be designated as "affordable" housing, she said, and that is only because of a stipulation in the construction loan obtained by the developer.

"For financing purposes, they elected to have 20 percent of the units be affordable housing," Cave said. "That pegs the rent at a certain level."

According to Cave, the builder will charge $650 to $800 per month for the one- and two-bedroom units designated as affordable housing. Rent on the remaining 80 percent of the units will range from $1,000 to $1,400 per month for one- to three-bedroom apartments.

"This is not Section 8 housing or low-income housing," Cave said. "This was one of the projects approved by the county before incorporation, and they still have the land use entitlement. City incorporation did not negate that."