218-unit upscale Bridgeway Apartment Homes under way
By Robert Norris | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The groundbreaking for Bridgeway Apartment Homes on Wednesday was more official than actual. The clubhouse is already framed. Underground utilities are already buried at the site of the first apartment units.
But that didn’t stop Rohdie Group LLC from being shovel ready at the ceremonies to celebrate the official kickoff to construction of the upscale apartment complex off West Lamar Alexander Parkway at 1000 Bridgeway Drive.
Numerous city of Maryville officials were on hand to share the occasion. Ron Leichtner, a Rohdie Group partner, acted as master of ceremonies and wasted no time in acknowledging the city’s assistance.
“We’ve done a lot of development throughout the Southeast, and this has probably been the greatest city that we’ve ever done any business with,” Leichtner said.
The business in Maryville is building and renting 218 apartments with one-, two- and three bedroom units. Eventually, nine buildings will hold 25 to 27 units each. The building permits for nine buildings in the complex are each valued in the $1.12 million to $1.19 million range. The goal is to have the first units ready to rent on March 15.
New York City-based Rohdie Group has developed more than 30,000 apartments in the past 25 years in residential areas throughout the Southeast. Over the next five years, the firm plans to develop four to six multifamily, for-rent projects per year with a goal of developing 6,000-plus apartments over the next five years.
For Maryville, that means filling a gap in the residential marketplace. Maryville City Manager Greg McClain characterized the Bridgeway Apartments as top-of-the-line.
“It’s really wonderful to see — having come through a really tough economy — to see this coming out of the ground. It’s very exciting. Bridgeway Apartments will really fill a niche. We don’t have enough of this type of housing stock,” McClain said.
Jennifer Nevitt Casey, a Rohdie Group partner, said local interest in the project is off to a “tremendous” start.
“So far, we’ve had a lead a day on the online website just from our sign here at the site,” she said.
Casey praised the architects for a design that features large windows for natural lighting, open floor plans and amenities women especially appreciate.
“They have terrific walk-in closets, and all the great things — no offense to the guys in the crowd — that the gals really want, which is a walk-in closet with a large bathroom with plenty of outlets for all of our gear.”
Kitchens will feature sleek stainless steel-look appliance packages, 42-inch upper kitchen cabinets, pendant lighting, and expanded counter tops. The pet-friendly community will offer direct access garages, gated-entry access, a resort-style saltwater swimming pool, club room with fireplace, plasma TV and kitchen, an Internet lounge, and a spacious fitness center with cardio and free weights.
The latest in connectivity will be offered in the community featuring AT&T U-verse with bundled telephone, Internet and cable. Eco-friendly products will be used, including Mohawk carpeting produced from recycled materials.
Monthly rental rates will start at about $700 for one bedrooms, $900 for two bedrooms, with three-bedroom and three-bath units starting at $1,100.
Apartment building boom
Robert Rohdie, Rohdie Group’s founder and senior manager, said the incentive to invest in upscale apartments is in response to the slumbering housing market, not despite it.
“This is going to fill a tremendous need. What’s happened to the economy is going to drive the market to thrive,” he said. “Right now, just getting financing is almost impossible. Even if you have the money, the mortgage market is so tight.”
Bridgeway Apartment Homes will be the same design as a complex Rohdie Group built in Huntsville, Ala.
“The resident profile there is probably $130,000 income. That’s very high for apartments. They’re engineers; they’re teachers, dual income. I think with the school system as strong as it is here, we’re going to have people wanting to live here just so they can send their kids to school,” Rohdie said.
Eric Etchison, senior property manager, said the apartment lifestyle at Bridgeway Apartment Homes will feature ease of living. All the kitchen appliances and washer and dryer are included. Every room has ceiling fans.
“It’s a lock and leave lifestyle. You lock the door and leave, and we take care of everything else for you. The level of living is great for today’s busy, professional families. It’s just ideal,” Etchison said.
The contractor is Summit Contractors, of Jacksonville, Fla., and the architect Fugleberg Koch, of Winter Park, Fla. Interiors by Christina Stiles Interiors, Orlando, Fla.. Landscape designs by Dean Riddle, of New York. Charlie Sterling, of Sterling Engineering of Maryville, is a critical partner to the project, and Derrick Jones is the engineer.
To find Bridgeway Apartment Homes, head out of Maryville toward Friendsville on U.S. 321. The apartment site will be on the left. If you pass Blount Industrial Park, you’ve gone too far. The website is http://www.RohdieGroup.com .