Work begins on 56-unit apartment complex in city

Tom Joyce Staff Reporter

October 10, 2013

More than two years after the project was first announced, work is under way on a 56-unit apartment complex on Edgewood Drive near Walmart.

“We are getting started,” Craig Stone, the president of Wynnefield Properties, a Jamestown firm developing the Edgewood Place apartments, said Wednesday.

Stone added that the process to reach this point has been long and tedious, but the facility which has been projected to cost $7.4 million is now falling into place.

“We’re going to have a groundbreaking on the 25th of this month,” he said.

“I would say five to six months from now you’ll see buildings go up,” Stone said, and become occupied about the same time.

The Edgewood Place apartments are geared toward moderate- and lower-income families. They will help fill what both municipal and local real estate officials have said is a major need for modern affordable rental housing in Mount Airy, given a present stock of older structures that are in bad shape in some cases.

Edgewood Place will have 42 two-bedroom and 14 three-bedroom units, based on previous reports. Plans have called for seven buildings, including a clubhouse, with a fitness center, walking trails and space for residents to raise gardens among the amenities.

It earlier was hoped work would begin in early 2013, but various delays have caused the project to get under way only recently.

And even with that, the developer has run into a familiar obstacle where local construction projects are concerned: granite deposits.

“There was a little bit of rock we had to deal with, so we are going ahead and trying to get that out of the way,” Stone said. This has included blasting work at the site, located at 1476 and 1510 Edgewood Drive, which are adjoining parcels.

A number of huge boulders were piled up there Wednesday as crews used heavy equipment to clear the area near the intersection of Park Drive and Carter Street.

Typically, the construction of such apartment facilities requires 12 months from start to finish, the Wynnefield Properties official said. “But I don’t think it’s going to take that long — one thing that’s going to play into it is the weather.”

After the project was announced in April 2011, Mount Airy officials granted an annexation request for the Edgewood Place site. Wynnefield Properties also was awarded tax credits from the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency in 2012 after failing to qualify for them the year before.

The tax credits are basically a form of financing to aid construction as well as allow lower rent prices than would be possible otherwise.

“It was a long road to get to this point and we’re awfully excited about being here,” Stone said Wednesday of the various bureaucratic hurdles that must be cleared for such endeavors nowadays.

But the developer said the community has welcomed the project with open arms and praised the cooperation he has received in Mount Airy. “I can’t say that enough,” Stone said.

“We’re excited about bringing the housing up here,” the Wynnefield Properties official said in pledging to provide a development of which the city can be proud.

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