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Demopolis officials meet with apartment company

Prestwick Companies eyes 56-unit apartment complex adjacent to DHS

Demopolis officials recently met with a company that is eyeing property adjacent to Demopolis High School for the construction of an apartment complex.

Demopolis Mayor John Laney and the Demopolis City Schools Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff traveled to Atlanta recently and met with officials of Prestwick Companies, an Atlanta-based company focused in the area of income-based multi-family construction projects.

The company has identified 4.14 acres of property along Hwy. 80, in front of DHS and behind the Med Center and Jack’s Restaurant, to build the proposed 56-unit complex.  The complex would include two- and three-bedroom apartments. There would also be a 112-space parking lot.

“They will look at laws based on income-based housing. Once they find a state that is favorable to the investment they need they will look for a property that fits that need. They found that property in Demopolis,” Laney said.

As the property is already zoned for multifamily dwellings, Laney said Prestwick would simply need to submit their application to the state for approval. If it is approved, and the construction fits within the city’s current zoning rules, the construction could proceed without coming before the city’s planning commission or city council.

“This is something the city has no control over … the rules are set. If they comply to those rules they don’t need anyone’s permission,” Laney said.

The mayor adds that the Alabama Department of Transportation has no problem with a possible increased traffic count for the area around the proposed complex.

Kallhoff said during a board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21, that the question was presented to Prestwick officials of possibly purchasing the property. The price presented was $675,000 with the board assisting in locating another tract of land suitable for the project. 

“It isn’t feasible. Their properties are nice; however, I’m not a fan (of having apartments at that location). There is nothing we can do as a board at this time,” Kallhoff said.

Some local residents have also voiced concerns at recent city council meetings regarding the proposed apartments and its proximity to the high school.

During the meeting with Prestwick Companies, the mayor and superintendent spent the morning speaking with representatives and in the afternoon visited three of the company’s apartment complexes.

“We saw three properties and all were maintained and well kempt. I walked away feeling that if they maintain the property here the way those were maintained, I don’t think it would hurt the City of Demopolis at all,” he said.

Prestwick Companies has until mid-February to submit its paperwork to the state. They would likely receive notice of approval in June.

“If they submit it and it is not approved, they won’t do it. If it is approved, it seems they are prepared to move forward with the project,” Laney said.