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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Neighbors aren’t so happy about a proposal to build a 196-unit apartment complex between Maysville and St. Joe Center roads on the city’s way northeast side.

But Patrick Hess, a local attorney for the Dallas developers, says the company will build market-rate apartments and the developers are the kind that “build, hold and manage. They don’t flip.”

Anthony Properties, based in Dallas, has held the 10-acre property since 1998 and had “surprisingly very few offers over the 20 years,” Hess said. “What they do is apartments and they’re finally ready to do that.” Hess added that the hyper active housing market played into the company’s decision to build now.

The complex has been designed with seven three-story buildings with 28 apartments in each building. A pool and several 8-car garages are planned.

Ron Koenig, a board member at Mill Creek Villas, wants to know more about the proposed apartments, and is worried about traffic, noise and too much lighting.

The proposal will be heard at a plan commission meeting June 13 at 5:30 p.m.

Hess said the units will be a mixture of 1- and 2-bedroom apartments with a 3-bedroom apartment in each building. There are no plans to build subsidized housing, Hess added.

On top of the usual concerns so many units would bring to an already bustling area with many chain stores and residential development, neighbors worry the planning commission will give its blessing to a waiver for 45-foot high buildings that will loom over nearby villas and Menard’s and Meijer stores.

“Why do they need 196 units?” asked Hedy Phillips who lives in the Mill Creek Villas that share a boundary with the vacant land that’s about half cleared. “They’re going to be able to look down right into our backyards and that’s why I’d like to see the trees saved. I don’t think we’re going to have a whole lot of privacy.”

Tall hickory trees and other natural habitat separate her villa from the property and provide a home for deer and wild turkey, among other wild animals, Phillips said.

The developer is seeking a waiver to build up to 45 feet; regulations permit a building height of 30 feet. The developer argues that the zoning – in this case SC or shopping center – allows non residential buildings to be 40 feet high and “an additional five feet will not create a significant impact on surrounding uses.”

This type of waiver request is one of a half dozen the plan commission has considered, including  Dupont Meadows on Dupont Road, Hess said.

Neighbors are also worried about getting out of Meijer Drive and heading west on St. Joe Center Road. Meijer Drive connects St. Joe Center to Maysville that has many businesses besides Meijer and Menard’s including a Starbucks, Applebee’s, banks, businesses and Taylor Chapel.

However, on St. Joe Center Road on both sides of the road are subdivisions and homes. One neighbor with his home on St. Joe Center Road said no one he knew was for the development and that he intends to attend a meeting next week for local residents at Jefferson Middle School. Villa owners fear if the apartment complex has a lot of children, they’ll be cutting through their yards instead of walking around to the road that leads to the school.

Monitoring all this is Ron Koenig, a Mill Creek board member who keeps sheaths of records on the proposed development.  

“Traffic has changed in three years and the 196 apartments they want to build here in this complex will add at least another 200, assuming some have two cars.  That’s going to be another 300-400 coming and going each day,” Koenig said.

It’s going to be a lot noisier,” Koenig said. “We will probably have a larger contingent of children. They have a pool upfront towards Meijer Drive so it’s going to be a lot noisier. Our complex has been noted as being one of the quiet ones around here because there’s only three dead-end cul de sacs. So the amount of noise, the amount of lights from street lighting they’ll have to put in will be a big concern as well as a 45-foot high building close to our back property line. All that kind of takes away from our quiet neighborhood here.”

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