miles lane apartments
Seventy-two new affordable apartments by MidPen Housing are taking shape on Miles Lane in Watsonville. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

With foundation work completed and now in its framing stage, 72 new affordable apartments by MidPen Housing are going skyward at 139-141 Miles Lane.

The Watsonville City Council approved the development in 2020, a joint project between MidPen and Encompass Community Services, which is being built on a 4.7-acre lot that has mostly sat vacant. 

Additionally, the council approved $2.3 million worth of loans to MidPen, a nonprofit developer, in order to advance the project.

MidPen and building contractor, L&D Construction, will build five three-story apartment buildings and one two-story community center with a manager’s unit. Two separate buildings will be used by Encompass as inpatient and outpatient facilities.

Plans call for 16 studio apartments, 19 one-bedroom units, 18 two-bedroom units and 19 three-bedroom units.

Rents are expected to range from $490 to $2,134.

Altogether, those buildings will total roughly 101,000 square feet on 139-161 Miles Lane between Freedom Boulevard and Kimberly Lane.

With landmoving work getting underway in spring 2021, the project got support from Watsonville Wetlands Watch Executive Director Jonathan Pilch, as well as representatives from Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, Santa Cruz Community Health and Dientes Community Dental.

MidPen has constructed and currently manages dozens of affordable housing complexes around the Central Coast and Bay Area. They have seven similar properties in the Watsonville area.

Completion date is slated for spring 2024.

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


  1. Who would I get in touch with in order to apply for an apartment? I’ve been looking for a place for 5 1/2 yaers now. I would appreciate any info regarding the process to rent one. Thank you in advance

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