F’ville’s first concierge apartments sail through council
The Fayetteville City Council on June 5 conducted the first of two public hearings on the Lafayette Square luxury apartment proposal.
Coming on the heels of the opening of Pinewood Atlanta Studios, the $43 million project near downtown Fayetteville would give the city and county a first look at apartment living complete with concierge-level services.
The 11.6-acre property, located on the north side of Ga. Highway 54 between Lafayette Avenue on the east and Sharon Drive to the west, was rezoned in June 2011 under the PCD (planned community development) zoning designation for approximately 192 units that were slated for persons 55 years of age and older. Those plans were later abandoned. The current proposal calls for 210 luxury apartments contained in a gated community with no age restrictions.
The public comments portion of the public hearing included one by Tony Parrott, a resident at the adjacent Villages residential development. Parrott asked that Lafayette Square be limited to the 192 apartments approved several years ago, adding that the annexed area on the city’s west side would be the best place for the apartment development.
The other speaker in public comments was Carolyn Cary who asked the developer questions concerning perspective tenants and the terms of leases.
Miles Hill, founder of The Charter Companies of Auburn, Alabama, said aside from a number of corporate apartments, all others would carry a 12-month lease. The corporate apartments would be fully furnished and would include a six-month lease, he said.
“We’re not interested in less than six months. We’ll let the extended-stay businesses deal with those,” Hill said.
Pertaining to residency at Lafayette Square, Hill said tenants will be required to undergo a police background check, a credit check, a last landlord check and an employment check.
The layout of the property shows four apartment buildings, each with three floors, and six carriage-style buildings. Two of the apartment buildings will border Hwy. 54 with one on the north side of the property and one in the center of the site. As proposed, two of the apartment buildings will contain 39 units each with the remaining two buildings containing 54 units each.
Though previously approved as a PCD project and because PCD approval is project-specific, the current proposal requires rezoning due to several factors. Those include a change in the footprint of the proposed buildings, the change in usage from age-restricted to non-age-restricted and the small increase in the number of proposed apartments.
Of the 210 proposed units, 24 are 1 bedroom/1 bathroom at 768-850 sq. ft.; 174 are 2 bedrooms/2 bathrooms at 1,002-1,100 sq. ft.; and 12 are 3 bedrooms/2 bathrooms at 1,287 sq. ft.
Projected monthly rent is $890-1,400 for 1-bedroom units, $1,050-1,950 for 2-bedroom units and $1,225 and up for the 3-bedroom units.
The 30-foot buffer requirement on the north and west sides of the property were extended by the development to 45 feet.
Intended as a community with monitored security gates and fences, Lafayette Square is proposed to feature a resort-style pool and deck, a 5,200 sq. ft. clubhouse, deckside cabanas and hot tubs, several parks, landscaped courtyards, a fully-equipped business center and cyber cafe and tanning salon.
A description in March of the apartment proposal provided by The Charter Companies represents a significant departure from the apartment complexes existing today in Fayetteville and Fayette County. The difference is not as much in some of the pricing as in the amenities that include a number of concierge services for all units with additional services available.
Hill at the June 5 meeting said the development encourages walkability and is what “our customers and residents look for.” The property is located within walking distance to the downtown area.
Development plans show several carriage houses featuring two units each, rather than the apartment buildings, being in closest proximity to the Sharon Drive residences.
Asked by Councilman Paul Oddo if the development could include a privacy fence and plant material on the west side of the property that is closest to the homes on Sharon Drive, Hill said he would be happy to make that happen, adding that Lafayette Square residents would also appreciate an extra level of privacy.
The council will conduct a second public hearing at the June 19 meeting.