A Utah company that builds multifamily housing is seeking to have nearly 9.5 acres annexed into Helena to be used for construction of a 216-unit apartment complex.

The city commission last week agreed to the proposed annexation and to zone the land for the apartments, but the conditions that the city typically places on annexations will have to be met before the land comes into the city, said Lucy Morell-Gengler, a planner with the city’s Community Development Department.

Chas Johnson, a division leader with the Rockworth Cos. of Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City, spoke to the city commission when it initially considered annexing the land.

“We look forward to being neighbors in your community,” Johnson said.

The tentative timetable calls for construction to start next spring with completion in late fall, Johnson said after meeting with the commission.

Single bedroom units will be offered as well as those with two and three bedrooms.

The Rockworth Cos. builds single and multifamily housing as well as retail and office space, according to its website. The company leases properties and offers property management services.

His company is building 195 apartments in Bozeman and, according to its website, has several apartment complexes in Utah as well as one in Cheyenne, Wyo., that’s the same size as is proposed for Helena.

“Helena has been in need for new housing with our proposed amenities for several years,” Johnson said in an email. “The majority of new multi-family housing that has been built over the last 20 years has been income restricted housing. We are offering our apartments to the general public without restrictions on age nor income.”

Johnson calls the apartment complexes his company develops communities and explains that the Remington Apartments for Helena will offer activities to help those who live there to interact and create a community.

“Our vision, pending final city approvals, is to create a village atmosphere within this community,” he said in his email.

The community center building would include a fitness facility, gathering rooms and a kitchen, game and recreation areas and a business center. There will be free Internet in the clubhouse and electronic equipment available for use by residents.

Outdoor amenities will include a swimming pool and hot tub. There will be two parks including one for use as a dog park.

Each apartment is to have a washer and dryer and a balcony.

The apartments will be within walking distance to shops, restaurants, schools and city parks, Johnson said in his correspondence, adding that a bus stop is being proposed to serve residents.

Garages will be available for rent although his email doesn’t contain prices. Rent is also to be determined, but he said after the commission meeting that single bedroom units could be in the $700 range while the two- and three-bedroom units could be in the $900 range.

The investment to build the apartments will be several million dollars, Johnson noted.

Apartment vacancies are 4.6 percent, which is below the national average, and is a good indicator of the need for new rental housing in Helena, Johnson wrote. Helena is appealing to the Rockworth Cos. because the local economy isn’t tied to any single industry, the email states. Employment relies on government jobs, those in education and others directed to serve tourism.

“With the steady economic growth and diverse industry in Helena, we see Helena as a quality location for our investment,” Johnson stated in his email.

(16) comments

Chet

This sounds wonderful for the city! But where? I didn't notice a location in the article.

codyfrisch
codyfrisch

Having lived in this style apartment community in Denver, they have some plus sides and some down sides. Since this particular developer is not in the Denver area I haven't lived in their construction.

Hopefully they insist on quality construction, as that is what I found lacking in denver. A new complex built in 2009 was already having rock walls falling down, parking lots torn up, windows leaking by early 2011.

The other issue I found was the use of the cheapest heating and cooling systems, central AC on an 800 square foot apartment that cost $80-100 a month to operate simply by the use of low energy efficiency equipment. Also the use of low quality fans that were loud, making sleep unbearable.

If this developer wants to build here, they can, but I really hope they step up and use quality construction techniques, labor, appliances, etc. This complex will greatly increase the available rentals in Helena for a number of years, I'd hate to see the market saturated with housing thats in barely better condition than the 20-30 year old units currently common in helena - on the day its built. Sadly I've seen this from the large developers in Denver - I hope Salt Lake has more pride in their work.

swipeme2

One thing missing in this article....where is this 9.5 acres??? The city commission approved the proposed annexation, so how can you write this article and not say where?

swipeme2

and something else...who owns this 9.5 acres and just who is going to pay for the conditions the city will place on this annexation before being accepted into the city?

steeline

Wonder how much "skin "Uncle Sam has in this plan? Oh well we need places for all the folks that are leaving places like California to come and live the good life in Montana with all the fresh air, clean water and "money in the bank".

samarasant

I am relocating to Helena for a job at the hospital in April of 2014 from Tulsa, and I was shocked when I looked online and saw ZERO apartment communities, much less a luxury community like we have here in Tulsa, and that housing would be difficult to find since I am not a Senior or on Section 8 or the equivalent and I have two small adult cats. Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw this article! My question is, is there a waiting list I can get on, can I pre-apply and get pre-qualified, because I think these units will lease out WELL before they are built!

thewholestory

Who's going to rent all these $700/mo apartments?

"Employment relies on government jobs, those in education and
others directed to serve tourism."

Govt jobs come from tax dollars, education jobs (K-12) come from tax dollars and
tourist industry jobs are typically seasonal, not full-time.

So, where are the private industry (non-government) people coming from to live in it?
I think this shiny new complex will be a ghost-town in a couple of years.

codyfrisch
codyfrisch

I doubt it will be a ghost town, what you'll see is a lot of the dumps that are being rented now for the same price either get renovated or the landlords will go bankrupt.

Either way it will mean you don't have to pay $700 a month for a place with moldy sheetrock, leaky faucets, showers with tile falling off and grout filled with mildew - like you may have to now. There are a lot of rentals in this town that are trashed dumps - and since there is a shortage what goes for $375 a month in most markets is $650-700 here.

dietz1963

Depends on the construction though cody. As you said in an earler post, you "hope" its quality construction. But lets face it, laws for contract work are still on the books for taking the one with lowest bid. Not sure how going with lowest bid equates to quality. I also doubt you will see many current apartments renovated. They may lower price, but they aren't going to invest in (for example) newer more energy efficient appliances or anything else. I have rented in this town and if something "fails", they generally pay a handy man on the low end to fix first, may replace if it can't be fixed but its on the very cheap end. Plus, as you've seen, property tax is going up again which property tax here is really out there. Meaning, landlord will raise rent prices to keep up. Between 2008-2013 my rent raised 5 times due to property tax.

ThatDevGuy

Yeah, it's too bad we don't have any non-government and non-tourism private industry in Helena...

jtrain55

Seriously how can you write this story and miss that it never mentions WHERE the apartment complex will be located. It seems like it is already known where it will be, but if not, then just say that. The IR is so ridiculous sometimes. I don't know how you miss something like that.

spring

Who. What. When. WHERE???

FlamingLiberal1

Considering what wages are like in this county, I don't think $700 a month is reasonable for a one-bedroom place. Just sayin'.

Agent Smith
Agent Smith

$500-$550 would be plenty for a 1bdrm

dietz1963

Pretty good cash flow will come out of this, using their $700-$900 monthly figure, thats about $2 million a year. Money well spent I'd say. Not unlike 4 apartment complex I lived in for a time, built probably around 1970 with appliances equally as old, $27K a year place probably worth about $100K.

enu_22

The "projects".

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