With renovations nearing completion on Magnolia Village and construction of the Village at Midtown in its final stages, Bryan Davis of Hendley Properties confirmed that all of the units in each complex are leased.
Magnolia Village is located on East Grady Street adjacent to the Willie McTell Trail and is comprised of six one bedroom and six two bedroom apartments. The Village at Midtown is on South College Street near the intersection of South College and Kennedy Streets. Both are in Statesboro's downtown historic district.
"Once we had our model apartment ready in Magnolia Village, we leased all of the 12 units in just nine days," Davis said. "We showed the apartments to 14 prospective tenants, and leased to 12 of them. It is clear that the demand for this type of housing is very strong."
Brian Realiza has just moved into his newly renovated Magnolia Village apartment. Realiza is an echocardiographer and cardiac sonographer at East Georgia Regional Hospital.
"I had been living in a loft, but I have a dog and wanted to be near a place where he could be walked," he said. "I drove by these when they were being renovated, and thought it was just perfect because it is right on the Willie McTell Trail, and is very quiet."
Purchased by Hendley Properties this past February, the Grady Street apartments have been transformed into an eye-catching, modern apartment complex. Davis, a property manager for Hendley Properties and spokesperson for both projects, said the vast majority of the two complexes were leased to young professionals, and not students like most people might assume.
"One of the 12 units in Magnolia Village has been rented to a student, and maybe five of the 30 apartments in the Village at Midtown have been rented to students," he said. "We weren't really sure when we started the project what the exact demographic would be. We felt that these would be more appealing to young professionals, but you just don't know."
Davis said the success and interest spawned by these two developments have shown there is a tremendous interest by professionals for rental housing that isn't in a student-driven complex.
"This has shown us that there are a lot of people that are looking for nice rental property that isn't embedded in student living - like in one of the large student complexes," he said. They are looking for a different atmosphere that is less about amenities, and more about a quieter lifestyle more geared to a professional. At this point, I would have to say that both are an overwhelming success."
Allen Muldrew is the executive director of the Downtown Statesboro Development Authority. He hopes the success of projects such as this one will begin to drive housing development in downtown.
"We've said for the last several years that the key to revitalizing our downtown area was to promote living in downtown," he said. "Projects such as these show that with a keen eye for potential, and the where with all to do it, successful, profitable developments can be done in historic downtown. Ray's (Hendley) faith in downtown has resulted in something wonderful. We certainly hope the trend will continue."
Davis said his company is continuing to look for more projects in downtown.
"We are continuing to have our eyes open for buildings with development potential for multi-family housing," he said. "We have looked at several, and will continue to do so because we have seen the viability of these projects. There are so many people moving to this area that are used to and like the feeling of living in a downtown area. It takes a special property, and the numbers have to work, but we are going to continue evaluate and pursue different options."