Council approves project to bring upscale apartments to Sylvania

Council approves project to bring upscale apartments to Sylvania

SYLVANIA, OH (WTOL) - Sylvania City Council unanimously approved a sale of the South of Monroe Street Project, or SOMO Project, Monday for $1.2 million.

The goal of the project is to bring upscale apartments and townhomes the southeast corner of Monroe and Main Street.

Back in 2008, city of Sylvania council members bought five-and-a-half acres of land to create SOMO.

"We looked at the need to combine properties, some parcels of land, so we could make sure that we were making this a desirable location in the future," said Mary Westphal, city council president.

Nearly 10 years later, and after $900,000 of investment, SOMO is sold to Republic Development and JC Hart.

"We always know that things take time, so there was never worry that we wouldn't be able to accomplish our goal. It was a matter of waiting until the right developer stepped up," said Westphal.

The project has been in the works since 2012. Monday's sale will bring 206 apartments to the area. They'll cost $750 to $1,500. Project leaders say retail and office space will follow.

"It's going to appeal to a lot of different types of people," said Richard Arnos, president of Republic Development. "Active adults, empty-nesters, millennials, all those people who want to be in energy. And energy is what makes downtown interesting."

Council members says this will be an extension of downtown, where baby boomers hoping to downsize and professionals under 35 will want to live.

"There is a trend right now across the country to move back to your urban core," said John Hart, Owner, JC Hart Developers.

Westphal says the current apartment space is running close to occupancy.

The developers' plan aims to allow resident to walk to nearby restaurants and shops, which will give a boost to businesses.

"It's gonna be a bump into our downtown and then there's going to be that walkability that you see in those larger cities that we have," said William Sanford, Sylvania Economic Development.

Although the whole property is five-and-a-half acres, the sale is just for four acres. The city is keeping some of the land for events.

"So that we can have wonderful festivals and activities right on the river walk," said Westphal.

The project could be underway as early as the end of 2017, but it is scheduled for 2018 with a completion date in 2020.

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