GALLERY: Vision becomes reality with downtown luxury apartments

Published 9:15 am Wednesday, October 12, 2022

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Draftstone Properties owner and CEO Andy Gibson has a vision of preserving the past to protect the future, and one vision is now a reality with The Lofts at Opera House.

The Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting Friday, Oct. 7, in conjunction with the grand opening of the seven new luxury apartments in downtown Andalusia.

“This has been a two-year project for our company. The planning process started in the summer of 2020, and the first construction or demolition started in the fall of 2020,” Gibson said. “The location of these units is an important element to their uniqueness. Each unit offers many features, but the walking distance to downtown along with its downtown views are what makes these units so unique.”

There are two units with two bedrooms and five with one bedroom. All seven units include a dining and living space, laundry room, custom cabinets, stainless steel appliances, gas ranges, gas dryers, and gas hot water heaters. Each apartment has a different floor plan with huge windows that offer breathtaking views of downtown Andalusia.

The design concept for each unit was Gibson’s own preference. “I tried to stick to a more industrial vibe with all the tall ceilings and exposed brick. The layout of the units is a combination of keeping the historic character of the building but incorporating modern design and flow where possible.”

The inspiration to create luxury, loft-style apartments was a result of Gibson’s offshore work and travels around the world.

“I saw some really cool locations and beautiful old buildings around Europe. With Andalusia having these beautiful old buildings, it seemed like a waste to have them sitting vacant. My company Draftstone Properties already owns multiple apartment units but nothing that really defines luxury. The Opera House was the perfect building to create something with a little more luxury in Andalusia. The downtown area has a lot to offer like great places to eat, shop, and see. Having housing to bring more people in seemed like the next step for the area,” he said.

Monthly rent ranges from $1,200 to $1,600 depending on the number of bedrooms a tenant selects. All utilities, water, and trash are included in the total price each month.

Gibson first developed a passion for real estate as a little boy in Red Level and has not wavered from that childhood dream.

“I remember admiring the old buildings in downtown Andalusia growing up. I always wanted to be involved with real estate somehow, and while working offshore on the oil rigs, I had a lot of off time at home and started learning the market with smaller projects and single-family homes. I realized very quickly I enjoyed the business and wanted to set my sites on larger projects.”

Giving historical buildings new life is something Gibson takes pride in.

“There is so much history in the downtown area, and I love seeing the potential in old things. The most enjoyable thing is seeing the finished product in your head before you even start a project and then watching people look at you like you’re crazy when you tell them your ideas and how the outcome will be. It’s a very rewarding feeling when it all comes together, and you see your vision become a reality. It’s extremely rewarding to be able to give the downtown something new and different while using parts of its past to create its future,” he said.

He expressed gratitude to his staff at Draftstone Properties.

“We all bring our own unique style and skill set to the party, and none of this would be possible without all of us. It’s a fun place to work with a very rewarding mission. We not only help people find forever homes through sales or rentals but all have a chance to leave our community better than when we found it. I didn’t want to build a name but a brand, which is why I chose not to call my company Gibson Properties. Draftstone is much bigger than one person, and I want to continue to attract workers who have the same vision of preserving and bettering our town for everyone.”

Andy and Jessica Gibson reside in Andalusia with their three children: 6-year-old Emory and 4-year-old twins Ellisyn and Liam.

“I would like to give a big thank you to the Star-News, the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Andalusia, my team, and my family for making our open house a huge success. A special thanks goes to my wife Jessica who has supported me and trusted me when I bring home my next big idea,” Gibson said.

For more information about The Lofts at Opera House, call property manager Jill Prevett at 334-222-5157.