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Posted on Fri. Jun. 20, 2014 - 12:30 am EDT

Plan panel OKs rental complex

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FORT WAYNE — A $70 million effort to bring condo-like rentals to Fort Wayne is complete.

The Allen County Plan Commission on Thursday approved the 158-unit Williamsburg Village, the fourth project by Redwood Acquisition of Beachwood, Ohio. The company also has tentative approval on a rezoning for the proposed development’s 38-acre area to multifamily residential from agricultural.

The county commissioners are expected to support the Aboite Township rezoning in coming weeks. The property is on the west side of South Noyer Road, west of the Hamilton Meadows subdivision.

Jim Frey is senior vice president of land acquisition and entitlement for Redwood. The company is in the midst of more than a dozen projects in Indiana, including four in Fort Wayne.

Last year, Redwood began work on Maplecrest Luxury Apartments and Atrium Village. Maplecrest, a 95-unit complex, is on Maplecrest Road, south of Kroger at St. Joe Village Shopping Center. The 151-unit Atrium Village is on West Wallen Road, east of Lima Road on the city’s northwest side.

Both residences are under construction.

And this year, Redwood moved forward on Centennial Highlands, a 152-unit community on the east side of Diebold Road, near Parkview Regional Medical Center. Frey said he expects construction to start within a month. Centennial’s proximity to Parkview played a role in Redwood developing a memory-care facility near the apartments. Senescent Healthcare is a 40-bed, one-story center that will span 35,000 square feet, north of the rentals.

Williamsburg Village, meanwhile, will mirror Redwood’s other residences that have two bedrooms, two full baths, a den and two-car garages that are surrounded by green spaces, natural trails and plenty of landscaping. Frey said the rentals have an airy feel, unlike traditional apartments.

Rent is $1,200 to $1,300 a month, Frey said. Tenants attracted to Redwood’s apartments are empty-nesters, retirees and young professionals, he said.

“We love being here in Fort Wayne and we’re excited,” Frey said. “Pre-leasing is going extremely well.”

Frey said the building blitz is done for now, but if rental housing demand dictates it, “we’ll be back.”

Redwood is a real estate development and management company established in 1991. The company has been involved in the building of up to 3,000 single-story attached-garage apartments throughout northern Ohio.

That fact is what impresses Beth Wyatt.

“To have a company outside of Fort Wayne investing here is a testament to the city,” said Wyatt, executive director of the Apartment Association of Fort Wayne. “There are very few single-story apartments with attached garages in the market. It’s definitely something we could see more of in our area.”

In fact, Keller Development has built two single-story duplex rental residences with one-car attached garages in the past two years, and has another – Evard Homestead – under construction on Fort Wayne’s northeast side.

“Single-story rentals are something new,” Wyatt said. “They do give people more of an individual home feel.”

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