FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Neighbors aren’t so happy about a proposal to build a 196-unit apartment complex between Maysville and St. Joe Center roads on the northeast side of town.
But Patrick Hess, a local attorney for the Dallas developers, says the company will build apartments at market price and that developers are the type to “build, own and manage. They don’t tip over.
Dallas-based Anthony Properties has owned the 10-acre property since 1998 and has had “surprisingly very few offers over the 20 years,” Hess said. “What they’re doing is flats and they’re finally ready to do that.” Hess added that the hyperactive housing market played into the company’s decision to build now.
The complex was designed with seven three-storey buildings with 28 apartments in each building. A swimming pool and several 8-car garages are planned.
The proposal will be heard at a meeting of the planning committee on June 13 at 5:30 p.m.
Hess said the units will be a mix of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments with a 3 bedroom apartment in each building. There are no plans to build subsidized housing, Hess added.
In addition to the usual concerns that so many units would bring to an area already bustling with numerous chain stores and residential development, neighbors fear the planning commission will give its blessing to a waiver for buildings 45ft tall. which will dominate the neighboring villas and Menard’s and Meijer stores.
“Why do they need 196 units?” asked Hedy Phillips who lives in the Mill Creek Villas which shares a border with the vacant lot which is half-cleared. “They’ll be able to look right into our backyards and that’s why I’d like to see the trees saved. I don’t think we’ll have much privacy.
Tall hickory trees and other natural habitats separate his villa from the property and are home to deer and wild turkeys, among other wildlife, Phillips said.
The developer is requesting a waiver to build up to 45 feet; the regulations allow a building height of 30 feet. The developer argues that the zoning – in this case, SC or shopping center – allows non-residential buildings to be 40 feet tall and “an additional five feet will not create a significant impact on surrounding uses.”
This type of waiver request is one of half a dozen the plan commission has considered, including Dupont Meadows on Dupont Road, Hess said.
Neighbors are also worried about exiting Meijer Drive and heading west on St. Joe Center Road. Meijer Drive connects St. Joe Center to Maysville which has many businesses in addition to Meijer and Menard’s including a Starbucks, Applebee’s, banks, businesses, and Taylor Chapel.
However, on St. Joe Center Road, on both sides of the road, are housing estates and houses. A neighbor of his home on St. Joe Center Road said no one he knows is for the development and plans to attend a meeting next week for local residents of Jefferson Middle School . Villa owners fear that if the apartment complex has a lot of children, they will cut into their yard instead of walking to the road to school.
Keeping tabs on all of this is Ron Koenig, a Mill Creek board member who keeps sheaths of records on the proposed development.
“The traffic has changed in three years and the 196 apartments they want to build here in this complex will add at least another 200, assuming some have two cars. It’s going to be another 300 to 400 coming and going every day,” Koenig said.
It’s going to be a lot louder,” Koenig said. “We will probably have a larger contingent of children. They have a pool out front towards Meijer Drive so it’s going to be a lot noisier. Our resort has been rated as one of the quietest here because there are only three dead end culs de sac. So the amount of noise, the amount of lights from the street lights that they will have to install will be a big concern, as well as a 45 foot high building near our rear property line. All of this takes away from our quiet neighborhood here.