BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA — Arlington Properties has started work on the $23 million Tapestry Park apartment project on 16 acres off Montclair Road, once home to John Carroll Catholic High School’s athletic fields.
The development will have 223 apartments in six buildings when it is constructed in the next 12 to 14 months, with the first apartments becoming available in October.
Arlington Properties, which also developed Hallman Hill in Homewood, is the developer of the property. Arlington Construction Services is building the project.
David Ellis, head of development with Arlington, said the company completed the purchase of the property on Wednesday and began site work on Thursday. The work comes a year after Arlington began planning for the project, but it took time to get the property rezoned for use as apartments. The city approved rezoning in November.
“It’s our hope this will help spur additional development along the Montclair corridor,” Ellis said. “We would like to be the first domino that starts a chain reaction of growth there.”
Ellis said the apartments will rent for $1,150 per month on average, with one-bedroom units starting at around $900 and two-bedroom units at around $1,200. More firm pricing will be in place closer to opening.
According to the project’s site plan, Tapestry Park will include a number of amenities that include a large central lawn and quad area, pool, bocce court, pavilion with televisions, grills and an fire pit for residents to gather around.
Ellis said the apartments will also have a hotel lobby feel, an upscale clubhouse, fitness center, cyber cafe and library for congregating. The apartment units will have stainless appliances, granite countertops, garden tubs, walk-in closets and other features, he said.
“This property is only two miles from downtown and is surrounded by great neighborhoods,” Ellis said. “There is a shortage of high-quality, multi-family communities near the city core. The market is really tight and demand for rental housing is rising, so we feel this is a good time to be delivering this product.”
Ellis said the likely relocation of Trinity Medical Center from across the street from Tapestry Park to the unfinished former HealthSouth hospital on U.S. 280 is a concern but shouldn’t hurt the apartment’s prospects.
“It would be great for the development if Trinity stayed, but we think this project will be successful with or without Trinity given all of its positive attributes,” Ellis said. “We are definitely encouraged by the proactive steps the city is taking to address Trinity’s potential move. It’s a great location and I really think they will ultimately find an alternative use for it if Trinity does move.”
Arlington’s purchase of the 16 acres leaves 5.4 acres of the former John Carroll property up for sale.
Sonny Culp of Graham & Co. is handling the marketing and sale of the site. He said it’s not often that a five-acre site on a flat piece of property on a red-light corner of a highly-traveled corridor comes on the market.
“We are hoping with the apartment project under way, it will spur some activity and interest in the remaining property,” Culp said. “Prospects would include retail, office and medical uses.”
Culp expects that interest could come from medical practices that will not follow Trinity to U.S. 280 if the medical center is successful in winning a court challenge from rival hospitals attempting to block the move.
“We expect we will see some non-invasive medical uses that may want to stay on this corridor,” he said.
What will not come to the property is a Walmart Neighborhood Market. The retailing giant was once considering the site for its grocery store concept, leading to some concern and opposition in the neighborhood. Culp said the grocery chain is no longer considering the site.
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