MBJ: New details: Highland Row development will target professionals
“University of Memphis-area residents and community leaders gathered Saturday, Feb. 6, at the U of M police satellite station located at 460 S. Highland St. for the annual University District Summit.
The first major commercial real estate project discussed was Highland Row, a mixed-use development under construction at the northwest corner of Midland Avenue and Highland Street that will include 354 apartments and ground-floor retail. The first set of units should be finished May 1, 2016.
Indiana-based Milhaus Development LLC is the developer and Memphis-based Poag Shopping Centers LLC is responsible for the retail.
Hill said with Highland Row’s rates, which start at about $950 for a one-bedroom unit, they want to target professionals who work in places like the Medical District, not typical undergraduate college students.
Area residents, including those from East Buntyn, asked Hill how long Milhaus would pursue those high rates before dropping the prices if the market wasn’t responding. Hill said the company only pushes rates.
“Typically, an apartment complex most of the time is built by someone, it’s owned by someone and it’s managed by someone else,” Hill said. “You have issues once you go into it because the owner wants a certain amount of money, the management is like, ‘we can’t get that,’ and there becomes a battle constantly. The difference with this property is Milhaus developed this property, owns this property and manages this property. We are 100 percent into this property. We built this property with the expectation that we won’t even be leased up for 18 months.”
Some residents at the meeting said they were under the impression there was an agreement in place that cars would only be permitted to turn left out of the development and onto Midland. Their complaint was they did not want the vehicles leaving the 511-space parking garage to disturb the surrounding neighborhoods. Hill did not have an immediate answer and said she would check.
Memphis Business Journal followed up with Greg Martin, the co-founder and vice president of development for Milhaus about the Midland question. Martin said cars would be able to turn either left or right out of Midland.
The Highland Row building plans also have adjacent land set aside for the construction of 35 townhomes. At the Feb. 6 gathering, the question was asked whether or not those were still planned. Hill said the townhomes were “up in the air” and that another developer might purchase the land.
During the follow-up phone call, Martin said Milhaus had not yet ruled out developing the homes themselves but had received interest from other companies about purchasing the land.
In terms of retail, the only announced tenant for Highland Row to date is steakhouse restaurant, Char. Martin said they are in talks with numerous retail tenants, but was unable to release names.”