Last year, I wrote about plans to dramatically transform the South Kingshighway street scene with a new apartment complex. At the time, the project was simply known as "Cornerstone Chippewa" and was headed by John Clancy, the owner of numerous Planet Fitness locations across the Metro area. Today, Cornerstone Chippewa completed the renovation of the old Shop N' Save into a Planet Fitness and extra retail space. Now the attention moves to the largest aspect of the project: the apartment complex.
According to the LCRA agenda, the project, which will be called "SOGRO" will be built on the site currently occupied by a auto repair strip center, a former Armory, and the site of the former St. Mary Magdalen bowling alley. SOGRO will be a 3-phase development that will ultimately consist of 333 apartment units, with rents starting at $1.48 per square foot, and 338 parking spaces. Retail space was once part of the project, but it no longer seems to be part of the plan.
Phase 1 will consist of 3 buildings and be built up against Kingshighway. Phase 1 will bring 178 apartments to the neighborhood in a $37.2 Million project.
Phases 2 and 3 will add 155 apartments in 2 other buildings for a cost of $35 Million.
So to recap, the project will consist of...
- 5 buildings.
- 3 phases
- 333 apartment units
- $72.2 Million total development cost
- Add 7 full-time jobs.
- Designed by Texas-based, Humphrey's and Partners (who designed CHROMA, Encore at Forest Park, and Cortona at Forest Park).
With this said, the LCRA recommends up to 20 years of tax abatement for the project. 15 years of the term will be 95% tax abatement. The remaining 5 years of the term would be 90% tax abatement.
Construction should start in the Spring according to an email sent out by Alderwoman Carol Howard (14th Ward) to her constituents earlier in the summer. When complete, SOGRO will fill in a sizable "field" in Southtown and will hopefully lead to other new projects in the near vicinity. As many of us know, the condition of the area is quite depressing but the oversized parking lots, vacant car dealership, vacant lots, and struggling strip malls gives us hope for more urban development in the area.