DeKALB – Final plans for a 61-unit, four-story apartment complex already under construction on Barber Greene Road by DeKalb-based developer Pappas Development are a go.
The DeKalb City Council unanimously approved on Monday final plans put forward for what Pappas is calling Arista Residences, 1383 Barber Greene Road. Construction for the apartment building began in late March.
Arista Residences, owned and developed by Pappas Development, will be located on a 1.8-acre site at the northwest corner of Barber Greene and County Farm Roads, 1383 Barber Greene Road. The apartment complex will be four stories tall with 61 single bedroom units. A portion of unincorporated DeKalb County was annexed into the city in January to pave way for the plans.
According to development plans, the fully furnished apartment units will be about 700 square feet, and the estimated monthly rent will be $1,350. Amenities will include a hotel-style lobby, hospitality room, business center, full gym and electric vehicle charging stations. There will be no commercial uses in the building.
Exterior architectural changes were made for the final version of the development plan, amended since it was first proposed to address public feedback related to the building’s appearance, City Manager Bill Nicklas said Monday.
“The development planning has changed more, I would say, in the direction of some of the questions that were raised by the council back in January,” Nicklas said. “[They said] ‘Is there a way to make the appearance of the building a little softer, colors, can masonry be added?’ And that has been added.”
Changes include removing an access point along the north side of the property and changing the building’s lower level brick shade to white, as well as adding white vertical pillars.
According to development plans, there were three points of access originally proposed: a right-in/right-out access along Barber Greene Road, a full access off County Farm Road and along the north side of the property. The north access would have been attached to a private east-west drive that is controlled by the owner of the Northland Plaza Shopping Center, which objected to using the access. The site plan and the third access was removed.
Ward 1 Alderman Carolyn Morris asked whether the city could consider amending its parking ordinances for future projects if the need arises.
“We’ve got one bedroom apartments for people who are transient workers, and we’ve got 92 parking spaces which just feels like overkill,” Morris said.
Nicklas said city staff are discussing potential parking proposals, but not for the latest Pappas development.
“The developer is content with is,” Nicklas said. “They have some experience with this model. ... They’re willing to pay.”
Arista Residences is the sixth of its kind to be built by Pappas Development over the past almost four years.
Other previous developments in Pappas’ portfolio include constructing the former K-Mart into the Hy-Vee Shopping Center and the retail center with Ellwood Steak and Fish House along Sycamore Road in both DeKalb and Sycamore. Many of the residential complexes under the Pappas portfolio in DeKalb offer what the developers call executive or luxury units, meant to cater to move-in ready tenants who travel for work.
Two are still under construction, including the $13.8 million Agora Tower built on the land once formerly used for the Mooney Car Dealership and the oldest barbed wire factory in DeKalb at the corner of North Fourth and Locust streets. The four-story, 94-unit tower was awarded $3 million in tax increment finance funds from the city in June 2019 and will feature retail and office space on the first floor, according to development plans.
In October 2020, the city of DeKalb sold the former DeKalb Municipal Building to Pappas for $600,000 to build Johann Executive Suites, a $7.5 million development aided by $750,000 of city TIF funds that will have 57 units on Fourth Street. The old City Hall was demolished in the summer of 2021. As part of the sale agreement with the city, Pappas will need to complete the build in 2022.
Artista Residences does not fall under a TIF district.
Ward 7 Alderman Tony Faivre issued praise for the latest Pappas project.
“The revised elevation looks very nice,” Faivre said. “Compared to the previous [plans], this one is very attractive.”