New SP Apartment Complex Gets Underway
Shortly after dignitaries turned the ceremonial first shovels of dirt Wednesday, a excavator roared to life and toppled the remnants of a brick home and a nearby tree to begin making way for the controversial Tyler's Ridge at Sandhills mixed-use project.
The first phase calls for putting in the roads and sewers for the residential and commercial sections, and construction of a leasing office and 144 apartments.
"Two weeks from now, the site will be cleared and we'll be into full grading," said developer Jim O'Malley. "The leasing office will be delivered the second week of August, and the first 24-unit building on Sept. 1. Every three weeks after that, another 24-unit building will be delivered."
O'Malley said the project, which he had hoped to start last January, was delayed by the arduous application process to secure a $9.5 million, 40-year fixed rate loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
"HUD does 90 percent of the financing for projects like this in the country," he said. "The financing has been time-consuming because, with so many applicants, HUD is essentially understaffed.
"I'm excited as can be," he added. "This is a great site and I know it's going to be a prime property for people looking for a quality apartment complex with a lot of amenities."
The amenities include an outdoor pool with arbor, fitness center, gas fire pit with lounge seating, outdoor grilling with bar top seating, dog washing room, car wash and vacuum station, sand volleyball court, playground, social gathering room with fireplace, and a trail that connects the complex to nearby Reservoir Park.
"It's a needed project that brings a level of multifamily housing that the town does not currently enjoy," Mayor David McNeill said. "It will be a nice alternative for young professionals and military families moving to the area. I also believe there will be a strong relationship with Sandhills Community College."
To that end, O'Malley donated $500 on Wednesday to the college's general scholarship fund.
Robert Hayter, owner of The Hayter Firm in Pinehurst, said the project represented equal parts "environmental stewardship, economic development and social good."
"This site is approximately 46 acres, and 28 percent of the land won't be touched," Hayter said.
O'Malley said the 839-square-foot, one-bedroom apartments will rent for $765 a month, while the 1,098-square-foot, two-bedroom units will go for $865.
He added that market conditions will determine how quickly the commercial section is developed.
"I have not heavily tried to market the commercial," O'Malley said. "Potential tenants first want to see a pad-ready site and rooftops."
The Southern Pines Town Council in July 2011 approved O'Malley's revised application to develop the 46.2-acre project at the corner of N.C. 22 and Airport Road.
Tyler's Ridge will include stores on the north side, featuring small shops and a restaurant. A multifamily development on the south side includes 216 one- and two-bedroom dwelling units. In between, there will be three single-family lots.
The project endured a lengthy public hearing process because of opponents' concerns.
Opposition to the project centered around safety concerns, aircraft noise, an alleged glut of apartments in Southern Pines, current commercial space vacancies in Moore County, and the project's proximity to the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens.
FAA standards prohibit the construction of any structure that would encourage public assembly in a runway protection zone (RPZ), areas that extend beyond the edge of a runway.
RPZs are trapezoidal zones that have specific land-use regulations to keep runways clear of any obstacles that could hinder takeoff and landing. They begin 200 feet beyond that area usable for takeoff and landing.
The commercial portion of the project and the three single-family lots would be in the airport hazard overlay zone, but the multifamily residential portion would not.
However, part of the multifamily portion is under the eventual departure path for planes coming off the main runway once the current airport expansion is complete.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or tnatt@the
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