Island City housing plan OKd

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer November 28, 2012 02:18 pm

A worker does site preparation Wednesday on property along Walton Road where GCT Land Management plans to build the Blue Springs Crossing apartment complex. CHRIS BAXTER - The Observer
A worker does site preparation Wednesday on property along Walton Road where GCT Land Management plans to build the Blue Springs Crossing apartment complex. CHRIS BAXTER - The Observer

Plan for upscale apartment complex moves ahead 

ISLAND CITY — Local developer Gust Tsiatsos got the go-ahead Monday night to start construction of Blue Springs Crossing, an apartment complex along Walton Road that will provide housing for around 40 renters.

The Island City City Council met in special session to review Tsiatsos’s site plan and resolve questions regarding street width and setbacks. Following lengthy discussion, the council approved the first phase of the conceptual plan. 

City Recorder Judy Rygg said the approval was granted under the city’s “planned development” rule.

“It means he can go ahead, with the understanding that he is responsible for his own street maintenance,” Rygg said.

Tsiatsos will build the complex on a parcel of land on the east side of  Walton Road near the city water tower and the Apple Eye Care building. The plan he presented to the council shows 10 apartment units, most of them four-plexes.

The plan shows the housing units with parking along their fronts, a pavilion with an office and storage area, the commons and a street running through the interior. The complex is accessed by two egresses off Walton Road.

In a cover letter submitted with his plan, Tsiatsos pledged that Blue Springs Crossing will be a “very well-kept, local owner project.” He said his company, GCT Land Management, recognizes a need for decent housing and intends the project to be part of the solution.

“As you can see by our architectural design and landscape plan, the project will be upscale with many amenities not found in this area. Indeed, a positive improvement,” he said. In talk during the meeting, Tsiatsos said he expects the apartments to rent for $750 to $1,000 a month, depending on amenities.

Tsiatsos said Phase One development will include two units in the northwest corner of the 2.76-acre property, plus the pavilion and office structure. Demand for the units built in the first phase will dictate construction of the others. Tsiatsos said GCT plans to build infrastructure, including sidewalks, as the project develops.

“It is our intention to keep the construction phase of this project as orderly and desirable as possible, as we build, in hopes of creating the livability factor we need,” he said.

No citizens showed up at the meeting to offer comment on the project, and the council gave unanimous approval after setting some conditions on street width and setbacks.

Tsiatsos said after the meeting that his company has been planning the complex since early 2011. He said the land was purchased by another buyer during the early phase of planning, but later came back on the market. He said GCT acquired the property a couple of months ago.