The complex, Legends at Chase Oaks, is located near the intersection of Legacy and Alma drives. Starpoint Properties sought to not only renovate existing apartments, but also to add 124 new units, bringing the total number of residences to 470.
Some of the existing units are more than 25 years old, Starpoint partner Michael Farahnik said. Upgrading existing units would serve to attract new tenants, he added.
“We are having a very hard time competing with the current stock that we have with the rest of the properties around us,” he said.
The company planned to invest up to $12,000 per unit in upgrades. Also included in the proposal was a new pedestrian walkway around the perimeter of the property as well as an expansion of the clubhouse, a new dog park and a splash pad. In total, the project would have cost $30 million, Farahnik said.
“We are looking to make a huge investment as far as this property is concerned,” he said.
The property was originally zoned for townhomes, but in 1995 the city approved a rezoning request to allow for apartments. Part of that agreement was that the property would remain at a lower density, city Planning Director Christina Day said.
As a result, Legends at Chase Oaks is less dense than all other multifamily properties in the Chase Oaks area. It currently has a density of about 10 units per acre; however, this proposal would have increased the density to about 13.6 units per acre. The adjacent property, Avalon, has about 20 units per acre, Farahnik said.
“We are still going to have a lot of greenery around us in the property after it’s all said and done as far as the work is concerned,” he said.
The majority of council members said while they appreciate the desire to reinvest in an aging property, they were not in support of adding new units. Revitalizing a property should not have to involve more density, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Anthony Ricciardelli said.
“This zoning case has the potential to set precedent for how properties are going to be revitalized,” he said. “That could lead to a tremendous increase in density all over the city that I simply do not think would be beneficial.”
Mayor Harry Rosiliere was in support of the project. He said he felt confident the proposal would not interfere with the surrounding area and would serve to improve an aging complex.
“This is an example of when you have an older property [and there is] someone willing to maintain it and keep it,” he said. “It doesn’t encroach on the neighborhood; it’s all self-contained.”
The motion to deny the rezoning request passed 6-2, with Rosiliere and Council Member Rick Grady opposed. Council Member Shelby Williams encouraged Farahnik and his team to return with a revised proposal that is more in line with the city’s vision for the area.
“I would fully encourage the applicant to work with the city planning department to see what would make this effort more palatable,” he said.