Brand new $6.8 million, 73-unit apartment building coming to downtown Frankfort

Published on 2/27/2017


Downtown Frankfort will soon get the apartment community that economic developers have said is needed to keep graduates from moving away and attract millennials to the area - both demographic groups required to fuel retail growth in the future.
The new project was announced in a press release from the City of Frankfort late Monday afternoon.
The proposed $6.8 million project known as Nickle Plate Flats will be a brand new 73-unit, 60,000 square-foot, four-story building that will house market-rate apartments.
The plan calls for the structure to contain executive suites along with studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments. Iron Men Properties, led by Principal Joe Blake, PE, LEED AP, is the developer for the project, intended for the east side of Frankfort’s downtown square.
The building will occupy a full half-block and is sited for the southeast intersection of Jackson and Washington Streets, between Washington Street and the alley.
According to Mayor Chris McBarnes, the Nickel Plate Flats project will significantly boost Frankfort’s downtown revitalization efforts and quality-of-place appeal.
“Thanks to the savvy, innovative professionals at Iron Men Properties who are demonstrating their belief and faith in Frankfort as a great place to invest, combined with the incredible collaboration of our City Council, Building Services Department, the Historic Preservation Commission, the City Plan Commission, the Redevelopment Commission, the Utility Service Board and Clinton County officials, Nickel Plate Flats is the most significant downtown revitalization project in our recent history," McBarnes said in the written statement.
“Attracting folks to live in our downtown is critically important for Frankfort to survive," he added. "Nickel Plate Flats will help support existing and new businesses, as well as those who work in our Industrial Park who will be able to live and work in our community.
“This development will strengthen our community’s appeal for everyone from young professionals to empty nesters to visiting Industrial Park plant managers who can lease the executive suites while they are in town. In short, this exciting project will provide momentum and opportunities that cannot even be fathomed yet,” McBarnes said.
“We believe the philosophy of ‘a rising tide lifts all ships’ fits this project well," Blake said in the release. "We want Frankfort to prosper and be a better place to live because the Nickel Plate Flats was built. Fundamentally, we are concerned about the health and prosperity of Frankfort.
“Many people work in the Industrial Park, but currently live outside the city and Clinton County. We believe this project will create high end, quality housing, enabling these folks to live where they work, which would allow existing industries to attract and retain top talent; a huge advantage for the employees, companies, city and the County,” Blake said. “Having listened carefully to the input of many civic leaders, Nickel Plate Flats will have an historic flavor complementary to the Courthouse Square while serving as a contemporary multi-family project with the finest amenities.”
The apartments have been designed to include granite countertops, Energystar stainless steel appliances, vinyl plank flooring, modern lighting and ceiling fans, oversized windows, Gigaspeed fiber optic internet, security cameras, keyless electronic access control and WIFI thermostats, according to the release.
The structure will house 11 studio apartments, 42 one-bedroom/one-bath, 18 two-bedroom/two-bath apartments and two executive suites with two-bedroom/two-baths each with rooftop patios. Rents will range from $545 per month for a studio apartment to $1,350 per month for an executive suite.
According to City Councilor and Frankfort Main Street President Joe Palmer, whom McBarnes credits with working tirelessly on project, based on the press statement, the development will be a "game-changer."
“This project is a giant step forward for the economic development health of our downtown as well as our community overall. Quality of place is about the tangible elements in our city that positively impact our neighborhood revitalization and economic development improvement initiatives, such as housing, downtown facades, park enhancements, growing our population in strategic ways and investments in our road infrastructure.
“This development accelerates the progress of our quality of place work by leaps and bounds,” Palmer said.
A key component of the plan is to provide accessible parking for tenants.
“To accommodate the influx of 70-plus new downtown residents, we knew we had to incorporate parking options into our plans. Clinton County has a parking lot with designated spaces available plus the owner of a private parking lot across from Prairie Creek is working with us to provide additional parking spaces for 90 total designated spots,” McBarnes in the release.
The parking lots will be upgraded to fit into the revitalized downtown environment with historic lighting, pavement markings, plantings and a pedestrian-friendly trail way.
The Redevelopment Commission and Economic Development Commission will utilize modern financing tools for this project, including Tax Increment Financing and traditional tax abatement.
Source: The Frankfort Times - http://www.chronicle-tribune.com/ftimes/

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