NEW ALBANY — The Breakwater, downtown New Albany’s future luxury apartment complex and retail space at the old Coyle Chevrolet/Dodge site, might not be finished yet, but it is accepting tenants.
The apartment’s leasing office opened in October and has signed up 14 people for pre-leases as of Wednesday morning, meaning prospective tenants have filled out an application for an apartment and paid all the necessary fees, but have yet to sign their official lease. Two of those pre-leases were signed Tuesday, said Darla Cameron, the property manager at the apartment complex.
“The demand has been great. We’re super thrilled,” said Austin Carmony, the vice president of development for Flaherty & Collins Properties, the Indianapolis-based developer of the property.
Flaherty and Collins broke ground on the housing project, which targets millennials and empty nesters, in December. It includes three buildings with approximately 200 units, two of which will contain studio, one and two bedroom apartments. The third building will contain the leasing office, a 1,600 square-foot retail space — possibly for a restaurant — and a few more apartments.
The first residential building, which contains 66 units and is four stories tall, will be finished in mid-December with residents moving in at the beginning of 2017. The second residential building, which houses 125 units and alternates between three and four stories, is on track to be finished in April. Its units are currently available for pre-leasing, as well.
The apartment complex as a whole will also include several amenities, such as a heated saltwater pool, a club room, fitness center, dog run and parking lot with just over 280 spaces.
The $26.5 million project is on time and on budget, Carmony said.
The apartments start at $705 a month for a basic studio and end at $1,670 for a two bedroom with the best view. Utilities are an added expense. The complex features seven types of apartments, but even certain types can vary in price, depending on its floor and view.
The most popular units so far have been studio apartments and tenants can handpick which unit they want, Cameron said.
Flaherty & Collins expect their tenants to be younger households or individuals making $50,000 to $60,000 annually. Many of them will come from outside Floyd County, too, Carmony said.
“The property — the quality of it, the uniqueness of it, the size — will draw people from a long ways to live here,” he said.
Flaherty & Collins discerned that New Albany could handle The Breakwater by having a third party conduct a market and economic development impact study.
The company has a current portfolio of 105 properties in 12 states, according to their website, and it has a lot of experience with building in downtown areas, Carmony said.
“There’s an overall national trend of people wanting to live downtown, and New Albany has a really unique downtown,” he said. “It’s prime for development.”
So far, Flaherty & Collins has been attracting just who it set out to, Carmony said. The people who have signed pre-leases at The Breakwater have tended to be younger, and some currently live outside New Albany, such as in Louisville.
Those people will help boost the downtown economy, Carmony said.
“You’ll get a new type of resident living downtown with disposable incomes that will activate spending money in the restaurants and the stores,” he said.
The city of New Albany has been happy with how The Breakwater has been coming along — especially regarding the types of tenants it is attracting.
“We want people to live in downtown that are excited to be in downtown,” said David Duggins, New Albany’s director of economic development and redevelopment.
And the apartment complex just looks nice, Duggins said.
“When you go out there, it’s cool, and I think that’s hard to accomplish sometimes,” he said.
Those interested in finding out more about The Breakwater can call the leasing office at 812-913-5888.