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.