Debro Hill complex expands

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The luxury apartment complex slated for construction on Andalusia’s Debro Hill has expanded to include 24 additional apartments.

And while the project’s financing is not in place, Bill Ware, developer of the Camellia Point complex, said Monday, the development “is very much alive.”

The project’s groundbreaking was set for this month; however, Ware said negotiations with the property’s owner/seller for additional acreage have enabled the number of units to increase from 104 to 128. He said changes on the new site development and engineering plan will be completed within the next couple of weeks and that groundbreaking is tentatively set for December or January.

The proposed apartment complex will have one, two and three bedroom units, with rents for each set at $670, $750 and $840 per month. Amenities will include a clubhouse with pool, business center, workout room, and laundry and carwash areas.

The apartments will be two-story walk-ups, with residents being able to park practically at their doors.

“We have elected at this time to make some design changes to our units and building footprints, enhancing their space and upgrading fixtures and finishes,” Ware said “This was a rather lengthy process, but we are very excited about the marketability of the results.”

Ware said a third look at the demand research showed the market is able to absorb an additional number of units to his original design.

He said once the site design is complete, the bidding process from selected site contractors will begin. Ware said upon completion of the pricing phase, he will then be able finalize the development budget and begin efforts to procure equity and financing for the development.

In August of 2010, the council agreed to invest $500,000 and become an equity owner in the proposed $13.5 million complex.

In December, the council approved a memorandum of understanding with Ware’s Incipit LLC, in which the city guaranteed stabilization of the property until it reaches 92 percent occupancy. Meaning when the complex opens, the city will guarantee the difference in rent between the number of units rented and 92 percent occupancy until that rate is reached.

Mayor Earl Johnson said previously the lack of moderate to upscale rental property has been a sticking point with several companies that have considered locating in Andalusia.