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Former Lodi Car Dealership Now Building Future Of Housing In Region

LODI (CBS13) – A Japanese building company is moving in and bringing with it 80 jobs and a lot more housing.

It's a new way of building multi-family housing, and it's all being done under one roof at the old Cadillac dealership on Kettleman Lane.

It starts with a 3-D design, then each piece of wood is cut, sized, and nailed into place to be shipped to a location and then assembled on site.

"This is a way to produce a lot more units, a lot more quickly, a lot more correctly," said Chief Operating Officer Rod Rempel with MHA Building Systems.

He said gone are the days of hammering away on location. Now they're able to erect a 100-unit apartment complex in just 30 working days after the pieces to the puzzle are built.

"There's a huge time advantage to building it inside of our plant rather than on the job site," Rempel said.

It's a Japanese company, Mitsui, that's now making a blueprint in wine country.

"We need housing and this is quality housing," said Pat Patrick with the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce.

He said it's a win for residents, but also for the city.

The old Cadillac dealership was vacant for nearly 10 years. Now it's being staffed with 80 workers.

"The jobs in my mind are the big pay off," he said.

MHA has manufactured out of Canada for years, now the pieces will be built locally and are already taking shape.

"Right here in Lodi we are doing a project called Rubicon at Reynolds Ranch. In Pittsburgh we're doing one called Stone Man. We're doing one in Natomas in Sacramento," Rempel said.

The big concept now is building big things.

The company plans to build 2,000 units next year, which means that's 2,000 more homes for people to live in.

MHA plans to be fully operational by January 2018.

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