Bowdeya Tweh reports:
Fresh from winning national acclaim for a Deerfield Township apartment complex, residential developer Hills Properties is about to break ground on two new projects to satisfy suburban luxury living tastes.
Hills will break ground Wednesday on a 218-unit apartment development in Blue Ash called the 4900, named after the block of Hunt Road where it is located.
A groundbreaking has yet to be scheduled for the 272-unit The Savoy at the Streets of West Chester.
Leasing for the high-end developments is planned to begin in the spring. Construction is expected to continue through the year, and residents could move in late in 2014.
Blue Ash-based Hills, one of the biggest residential real estate developers in the region, is cashing on a growing trend: High demand for upscale rental housing in some of the region’s nicest neighborhoods.Helping drive that demand is tighter mortgage lending standards that put homebuying out of reach for many, and consumers’ desires to be mobile and free from long-term debt.
“Luxury apartments are indeed a fast-growing national trend,” said Maria Lashells, director of marketing and training for Hills. “We’re seeing upwardly mobile professionals in their mid-30s to early 40s who need to be mobile because of their career and empty-nesters in their early 50s who already live in upscale homes but don’t need a big house anymore.
“They’re looking for the same luxury and amenities, but without the maintenance and worry.”
In recent years, a lot of activity has focused on turning former office buildings, department stores and outdated apartment units into attractive, renovated rentals in and around Cincinnati’s urban core. But at the same time, developers are finding similar interest from consumers who want rentals in the suburbs.
Lashells said Hills has been biding its time to figure out the right moment to break ground and start building. It has held land for the developments in Blue Ash and Deerfield Township for more than a decade.
Rents will average $1,200 a month in the West Chester development and between $1,400 and $1,500 a month at 4900 in Blue Ash.
The new apartments will be in mid-rise buildings that have an urban feel, said Lexi Kopilchack, Hills marketing coordinator. The sites will feature primarily one or two bedrooms with a study, granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. The Blue Ash complex will include a rooftop fitness center, pool and a storefront cyber café.