Posted: 11:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012

$10 million apartment complex under construction

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$10 million apartment complex under construction photo
Spring Meadow, a 25-building, 150-unit apartment complex, is a $10 million project being built on Heather Glen court. Barbara J. Perenic/Springfield News-Sun
$10 million apartment complex under construction photo
Spring Meadow, a 25-building, 150-unit apartment complex, is being built on Heather Glen Court. Mid Ohio Developers owns and is building the market-rate apartments for older residents. Barbara J. Perenic/Springfield News-Sun

By Everdeen Mason

A $10 million apartment complex under construction now will be the first market-rate apartments built in Springfield since 2008.

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Mid-Ohio Development Corp. is constructing the 25-building, 150-unit Spring Meadow Apartments, located at Middle Urbana Road and Villa Road.

Each building will cost more than $400,000 to complete, said Larry Parr, vice president of Groveport-based Mid-Ohio.

“The city of Springfield hasn’t had anything new in quite some time,” he said. “The demographics showed that this is a good location for us and good target market, so we investigated and decided we should do this.”

Stone Crossing on Dwight Road was the last market-rate apartment complex built in the city. It was completed four years ago with seven buildings and 96 units.

City officials couldn’t comment on the Spring Meadow project specifically.

“Investment and development within the city is always a positive thing,” said Shannon Meadows, the city’s community development director.

The amount of apartments built depends on what the market will bear, said Kent Sherry, executive director of the Building Industry Association of Clark County.

“It’s what the market will bear and with the uncertainty in the economy, a lot of people with rental properties are looking for equity to build and take advantage of mortgage deductions,” he said.

Apartment vacancy rates are at the lowest levels since 2002, according to records from the National Multi-Housing Council and have steadily decreased since the recession struck in 2008. Vacancy rates in 2009 were 12.3 percent and dropped to 10.3 percent by 2011.

The rental market is growing while the home-building market tries to regain footing. Last month only one building permit was issued for a new home in Springfield, according to city permit records. Spring Meadow makes up the bulk of recent new residential building permits.

“Anything coming in like that has jobs attached to it,” Sherry said. “And from a real estate standpoint, the rental market is very high. It’s something like 97 percent to 98 percent capacity and by sticking with the market rate, it’s actually sustaining the value of the rental units.”

Spring Meadow rents will cost $650 to more than $800 monthly, which Sherry says is actually higher than the local market rate. The complex will include one-bedroom and two-bedroom units and a community center with a pool.

And so far demand for Spring Meadow has been high. Mid-Ohio has already completed about 25 percent of the project and has leased the completed units, Parr said. The project should wrap up by next summer.

The aging population is one of the main reasons Mid-Ohio chose to build in Springfield, Parr said.

“We studied the ages,” he said. “These apartments are designed primarily for seniors and for the older market.”

Sherry said apartment units are attractive to older people who may not wish to maintain a larger property or pay property taxes.

“Four years ago if you were to call me, I’d tell you retirees … are moving into larger homes and getting more square footage,” Sherry said. “Today, after four years of the Great Recession, people are rethinking how much they really need.”

 
 

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