Jeff Englert and Nathan Farha have begun construction on a 70-unit apartment project near Central and Waco in downtown Wichita.
“They’re out there moving dirt today,” Englert said Tuesday afternoon.
The three-story, two-building Pinnacle Lofts & Apartments will have 33 lofts, 20 one-bedroom units and 17 two-bedroom units. The apartments will be located on the south side of Central and just west of Waco on an undeveloped 1 1/2-acre parcel.
Englert said he expects leasing to begin next spring with the first tenants moving in in late spring or early summer.
3ten Studios is the architect and Icon Structures is the general contractor. Englert, a commercial real estate broker with NAI Martens, said it’s his first project as a developer.
Englert said he and Farha chose the location because of its proximity to downtown and the Riverside neighborhood. He says it will be a different living option for the young professionals his project is targeting, offering them access to recreation such as Riverside Park and the bike paths along the Arkansas River, and cultural attractions such as the Wichita Art Museum, Old Cowtown Museum, Botanica and the Mid-America All-Indian Center.
Pinnacle also will offer a bicycle share program for tenants, allowing them to borrow bicycles owned by the apartment for blocks of time.
“I think you’re hitting some different markets that other places might not be” with amenities such as bicycle share, Englert said.
He said rental rates at Pinnacle are being finalized, though rates will be competitive.
Wichita Downtown Development Corp. on Tuesday reported that with the addition of the Pinnacle project, 812 apartment units are under construction or planned in the downtown area. That’s in addition to 428 units that have opened since the 2010 implementation of the downtown master plan.
A 2010 report by Laurie Volk of New Jersey-based Zimmerman/Volk Associates said downtown could support 1,000 residential units. Last year, Volk updated her report and said downtown could support between 1,425 and 1,870 additional units in the next five to seven years.