Say goodbye to Tiny Town.
Developers plan to raze the cluster of small rental homes tucked between the Oakwood and Mordecai neighborhoods in the coming weeks, the next step in a plan to build about 60 single-family homes on a two-block stretch.
The rental community on Virginia and Sasser streets is one of three on the northern edge of downtown that have changed hands in recent months. Two of them are envisioned as residential infill projects, one of the few ways left to build in downtown, where land is scarce.
For some residents, it’s a change that means they will be priced out of the area. Surrounding neighbors also are watching the properties closely to see if new development will fit their vision of the neighborhood.
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Longtime owners Kip-Dell Homes sold the Brookview Apartments, known to neighbors as Tiny Town, for $6.6 million, the Oakwood Apartments for $2 million and the Clover Lane Townhomes for $4.7 million to three different local buyers.
Jack Morisey, president of residential developer Community Properties, told the Mordecai Citizens Advisory Council on Tuesday that he thinks the neighborhoods will be well served because the developers are familiar with the area.
Community Properties bought Brookview in a joint venture with builder Robuck Homes.
“We care very much about the city and this niche of the city,” he said.
Neighbors at the meeting had plenty of questions about the project, including how big the houses will be, whether they will have garages and how much they will cost.
Morisey said the houses likely will average about 2,500 square feet, but he declined to estimate the cost. He said he does not anticipate they will be at entry-level prices.
Morisey said the two-story houses will not have front-loading garages, in keeping with the houses in the surrounding area. That’s an important feature for many neighbors who don’t want to see suburban-style building in the area.
Kim Gazella, co-chair of the Mordecai Citizens Advisory Council, said she was encouraged by Morisey’s willingness to discuss his plans.
“It sounded to me that like he really is taking to heart that we have a very unique community and want to retain that character,” she said.
The projects at Oakwood Apartments and the Clover Lane Townhomes, already renamed Mordecai on Clover, differ from nearby Brookview.
At Oakwood, York Properties anticipates building a townhome community, but the process is on a slower time frame than at Brookview. Residents are still living there.
The new owners of Mordecai on Clover plan to renovate the inside of the townhouses but make only cosmetic improvements to the outside of the buildings, said Allegre Peavy, the community’s manager, at the meeting.