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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kaden Quinn Construction for a new apartment complex — Farmhouses on Oak— is currently in progress and set to reach completion by Nov. 1. The apartments will be located at 510 South Oak Street, the old location of Sweet’s Hardware & Rental.

New apartments are set to debut in California at the former location of Sweet's Hardware & Rental later this year.

Construction on the 14-apartment project — titled Farmhouses on Oak — began June 1 and is projected to be complete by Nov. 1, according to property owner Joshua Hartley. The complex will offer farmhouse-style apartments to the community, with rent starting at $550 per month for a studio apartment and $700 per month for a two-bedroom space.

After speaking to several residents in California, Hartley said he found that many were considering leaving the community due to low or unavailable rental space. Hartley plans to remedy this with the establishment of his Farmhouses on Oak apartments, which he said he hopes will give locals a reason to stay in the area.

Hartley said these new apartments will offer residents a clean and nice place to live at an affordable price. He said while there were a couple reasons he built these new apartments, overall he wants the community to have another establishment residents can be proud to have in California.

"It is good for the community," Hartley said. "(Farmhouses on Oak) is right in the middle of town, and we're investing a lot of money into it to make it look really nice so the people around are proud of it. Hopefully, by increasing the population in Californiawe can thereby help the business owners."

After some time looking for an investment opportunity in central Missouri, Hartley said acquiring the property and building on it was a good opportunity in a great location. With his motivation to maintain and expand the population of California, Hartley said he hopes the apartments will be seen as an asset that benefits the community and not something that would take away from it.

"We're beautifying the building, so I hope (residents) enjoy that it's going to look nice, even if they don't happen to live there," Hartley said. "I hope they'll enjoy that these are not only going to be nice places to live, but they'll be reasonably priced places to live, as well."

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