Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Apartments

I have been wanting to tell all of you what is happening with the apartments and tonight the Council approved a Master 380 agreement concerning the apartments in the Lamar Overlay.  Essentially Bob Kembel of Viridian started his own development company JCKPL.  He has been actively pursuing the apartment complexes along Lamar.  He has successfully put the following apartments under contract, Huntington Chase, Pointe at North Highland, and Water Chase.  The fourth apartment complex is still in play.  The city has agreed to participate in this process.

Phase I will consist of the demolition of Huntington Chase and the Pointe and the city will put up 1.5 million in good faith.  Half a million will be granted upon the demolition of phase II and III.  $750k will be given to secure drainage improvements for the project.  And a total of 2.4 million will be given to demo the entire project.  The total give by the city is 5.2 million.  The total funding required by the developer is $160 million.

Let me simply say that it was truly a miracle that we were able to find a developer, and then have the developer come up with $160 million to help solve our apartment problem.  This deal is simply an overall agreement that the city will work with the developer in good faith.  I would like to bring to your attention that the Lamar Overlay has been in existence for the last 8 years and nothing has happened.  Mr. Kembel intends to comply with the restrictions set forth in the overlay.  Some single family, some retail and mixed use centered around three large apartment complexes.  The driving force behind this project was our City Manager, Trey Yelverton and Bruce Payne from Economic Development.  I plan on having an Apartment Town Hall Meeting at the Convention Center in the middle of August to show you what the Plan will entail.  Your neighborhoods in this area just got a face lift, and a big boost in property values. 

Bob Kembel has been working on a plan with local community leaders concerning relocation and the gradual movement of affected citizens as leases expire.  It was a good day at City Hall.

15 comments:

  1. Awesome ... to all involved in this effort I say thank you.

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  2. This is a great accomplishment for the district and the entire city. Great work Charlie!

    Is there hope for redevelopment of apartments that don't adjoin a park and a country club?

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    1. Walter when other developers see that there is enough interest to invest $160 million in the redevelopment of the Overlay, then others will want to invest also. We are very optimistic that this is the start of something that will snowball.

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    2. Is there anything more that could be done to sweeten the pot? Could bonds be sold for some of the infrastructure costs?

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    3. I think that before we get to the idea of bonds or an effort fund a project, the project must be identified. Although we do have an Overlay Plan, it just provides the framework as to how to comply with construction in the area. What needs to be established is a concept as to where we want to go with the next block towards Whole Foods. What are our options and funding capabilities. I have always considered a retirement community would be ideal in that area. We have golf courses, emergency response capability, and a major medical facility all within a few blocks. Of course I an open to any other ideas.

      Now I have heard about restaurants going in at the TxDOT property on the Northeast corner of I30 and Collins. It is my hope to put the other TxDOT property in play across the street. Interest and development in the North just got a big boost.

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  3. Is it true that the new plan will result in higher density apartments in the area?

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    1. It is true that the density will increase but the density of the Overlay was always much larger. Density is not the problem. Dr. T. Bowman did a study that resulted in the fact that income level was the determining factor in an increase in crime in cities. You have to consider that this entire neighborhood is going to be revitalized. I will be holding an apartment meeting in August at the Convention Center. The entire plan will be unfolded to interested citizens.

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  4. Awesome! When will the demolition start and in what order will the apartments come down?

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    1. Dannye, anyone who lives near these apartments realizes that this is a major improvement to their neighborhood, and they are excited about it. As for the timeframe, once the first check is issued, Mr. Kembel has 180 days to start demo. The order of demo will be Huntington Chase first and then a movement eastward along Lamar.

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  5. DENSITY IS **ALWAYS** THE PROBLEM.

    What is the number of units/acre being proposed vs. what is currently allowed in the overlay?

    Where will the 3,000 (calculating 2/apt) new parking spaces be located? Can't imagine hundreds of cars parked along the streets will be attractive.

    Where will the new elementary school be built? (Roquemore and Sherrod are both at or over capacity.) Can existing junior high schools, and Lamar HS, accommodate more students?


    The entire neighborhood would be better revitalized with condominiums or single-family homes. Greater numbers of apartment units (competition!) leads to decreased rental rates, decreased rates leads to lower income level renters. Which leads to more crime. This is fact. (you mention Bowman's study) Even 'nice' apartment complexes become subsidized housing... look at 'Verandah on the Cliff'.

    The problems we are currently experiencing may temporarily abate, but eventually return with even greater force as more people will be packed into a smaller area.

    'Intending' to comply with present ordinances is not the same as 'actual' compliance. As recent history has shown, present ordinances/restrictions mean little, if anything, when council allows developers to completely ignore them by granting waivers. (the apartment complex at Davis and Abram, as well as the yet-to-be-built MF at Hosack and Mitchell Streets, are proof of this.)

    Meanwhile, where do present homeowners and stakeholders apply for their 90 percent, 30-year property tax rebates? We could certainly use the relief, and could use these rebates to invest in OUR properties.

    Seems to be a sweet deal for the developer, but a sour one for the neighborhood.

    Once again, preserving/maintaining neighborhood integrity does not seem to be a consideration at this time.

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    1. First off let me say that I don't usually reply to "Anonymous" posters. If you can't identify yourself, then you really don't deserve a reply, in my opinion. But I will make this exception because the assumptions in your post don't have a great deal of merit and need to be addressed.

      Density is not the culprit here. Economic level is the indicator of the increase in crime. The proposed density of this project is 53.3 per/acre. The overlay calls for MF55, so the developer is complying with the terms of the overlay. The price of the units being built will call for $1.40 sq/ft. This fact alone will remove it from being a subsidized property.

      As for the cars and parking, that problem is solvled with parking inside the structures. These are wrapped facilities with security for the autos comprised within each structure.

      Concerning your comment on the abatement. I strongly suggest that if you want an abatement of this nature for your home, then you need to be willing to take the risk associated and provide the city with $160 million like Mr. Kembel. It seems that in your assessment of the subject you only want the cream and aren't willing to clean up after the cow and assume ownership/responsibility.

      Concerning single family homes, I have given several discertations why you can't tear down apartments and put up single family homes in their place. It is obvious that the acquisition of the property and demo and haul off, plus asbestos/lead paint concerns are all expenses that are passed along to the consumer. These expenses make the price of a single family dwelling so prohibitive that you will do better by going to Viridian. I have answered this question many time and these are the cards dealt to me by P&Z of the 70's and 80's. The delta from building on raw land to building on apartment land simply makes it impossible to price the house competively.

      Concerning the schools and the impact this will have on them. The School Board has known about this project for over a year and they will deal with it accordingly. That is what they do, and they are accomplished at confronting these issues. They have had several meetings to deal with your concerns. So please let them do their job.

      In short, this is a solid project that will reshape a portion of North Arlington. It is the beginning of something that is very positive for our city. It gives the residents of this area hope for the future, improves their neighborhoods and increases their property values. Jimmy Bennett, Bob Kembel, and I will be conducting a Town Hall Meeting in August to present the project and discuss all of your concerns. I hope to see you there.

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  6. Since you still refuse to give your name, then this is the last post of yours that will be published.

    Now it is obvious to me that you can't understand that I wrote in my reply to you that I have to live under the consequences that P&Z's of the 70's and 80's have given me. I understand this concept and I'm trying to do the best that I can with what I have. You on the other hand will simply say that you are being "punished by government". Excuse me! I seem to be a home owner that lives very close to this project and I don't think I'm being punished. I think that I live in a neighborhood that is in need of investment and upgrading. That being said I have spent $2.0 million of your tax money to secure $160 million of investment capital in YOUR neighborhood, I guess. Since I don't know who you are or where you live.

    The people in and around this neighborhood are ecstatic about this project. But there is always a few that can't see the forest for the trees. As far as a tax abatement for a developer, Mr. Kembel isn't the first and he won't be the last. The extent of the abatement is due Mr. Kembel because he had the foresight and vision to be the first to step into the deep water. With the abatement in place the city will still receive 30% more tax revenue than they do currently.

    I ran for office to improve neighborhoods, and I have done just that in several ways other than this project. This project will redefine a section of North Arlington and spur other developers to invest in our area. I'm sorry but simply buying a house in Arlington doesn't qualify for an abatement. You can challenge the taxable value of your home and on that scale it does the same thing.

    The parking considerations shouldn't concern you. You have no skin in the game, but if you want to rent an apartment then talk to management about the issue.

    Concerning your statement of, "a repetition of errors to a higher degree," it would appear that simple math and the written word escapes you. No one will buy a 3,000 sq/ft home for $550,000. Nobody! They will go to Viridian and get twice the home before they would buy one here. So let's all just sit here and watch our neighborhoods deteriorate. Great idea! Wrong!!!!! This project has single family, multi-use and multi-family. It is new and it will be built to last.

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    1. Mr.. parker , could you post the name responsible for the apt demo? I would truly like to apply for employment with this company

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  7. Nice article! I just bought an apartment in Arlington, Texas, at very good price thanks to http://www.apartmentsarlingtontexas.com/ Good luck!

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  8. The development company that is doing the Arlington Commons is called JCKPL LLC. Bob Kembel is the leader of this group. He is also the individual in charge of the Viridian development in north Arlington. Bob puts Jesus Christ before everything in his life. That is why JC is first in the company name. He is a remarkable person.

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