In development

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John D. Harden/DRC
About 18 acres sits empty in south Justin. However, a California-based apartment complex developer seeks to turn the land into a home for a new 168-unit complex. Approximately, 93 percent of the apartment units will be for low-income tenants, according to officials.

Officials in talks of new apartment complex in Justin

JUSTIN — Talks are underway to bring a new apartment complex to the city of Justin, but city officials say they don’t have the infrastructure to support the development. Yet.

The proposed apartment complex, known as the Villas at Justin, would be built on about 18 acres south of Bishop Park. As proposed, the complex would consist of a 168 one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

City Manager Ashley Stathatos sees a need for the complex and believes that it would be a good fit for the city, but the city doesn’t have the wastewater infrastructure to support it.

“We’re at capacity,” Stathatos said. “And bringing in a development that size will put us over.”

Stathatos said that the city has asked the developer, AMCAL Multi-Housing Inc., to assist with funding a lift station, which would increase wastewater capacity for the entire city. The company has 45 developments in California and $900 million in assets in their portfolio, according to city documents.

But the development isn’t a done deal, she said.

She said the developers are discussing the proposal and will return to a future council meeting to determine the next step.

“Nothing is set in stone,” Stathatos said. “We are still in the early stages of the talks and we’re trying to determine the best solution, but without a new lift station, we can only serve our existing residents.”

According to state data, Justin has about 3,000 residents, and the city is projected to continue growing. State census data projects the city’s population will cross the 5,000 mark by 2020 and then 8,000 by 2030.

“We know there’s a need for this, but we don’t want to rush into it,” Stathatos said. “We want this to be a quality development that helps put the city ahead and, in the end, benefits everyone.”

The proposed complex would sit just north of a few fast-food restaurants and west of another residential community.

About 93 percent of the apartment units will be for low-income tenants, according to a presentation by Donna Rickenbacker with Marque Real Estate Consultants and Kecia Boulware with AMCAL Multi-Housing, Inc. The apartments would not be classified as Section 8 housing.

Talks of adding a new lift station and making improvements to the city’s infrastructure has been ongoing.

Recently, the city hired consultant Pacheco Koch to evaluate the city’s lift stations and pumps. According to the company, the price of all the improvements needed to improve wastewater service can be between $100,000 and $600,000.

The city is also discussing issuing tax bonds to pay for the lift stations.

JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.


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