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Al Key - DRC

More downtowners

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan
Residents have started moving into the Adagio at 501 S. Locust St., where Jack Bell Properties rebuilt an existing commercial building to add apartments.Al Key - DRC
Residents have started moving into the Adagio at 501 S. Locust St., where Jack Bell Properties rebuilt an existing commercial building to add apartments.
Al Key - DRC

2 new complexes add housing near Square

Downtown Denton is becoming more residential, as new neighbors started moving in last week at two new apartment complexes.

The complexes are each owned by companies that already have properties in the area. The Martino Group and Links Construction opened H Squared on West Hickory Street, and Jack Bell Properties opened the Adagio on South Locust Street.

Both buildings feature high-end touches such as granite countertops and on-site parking for residents. H Squared has 42 one- and two-bedroom units, while the Adagio has 55 units ranging from efficiencies to a three-bedroom penthouse apartment.

Both also have retail spaces on the first floor. The Adagio will house Shift Coffee, a specialty coffee shop that first opened in 2013 in the original building, which was bought and transformed into the new apartment complex. Shift has remained closed during the construction period.

The Adagio project began as an update to an older warehouse/office building, said Jack Bell, owner of the property company.

As he and architect Mark Martin started working on the project, they realized the building could be used for retail and apartments while keeping parking open up front.

“We were able to get off the street and have all the parking out front, as well as around the project, so we left the office/retail as large as it was — 11,000 square feet — because it’d be about the only thing downtown that has parking in front of the retail,” Bell said.

At H Squared, Pizza Snob will open its Denton location later this month.

The pizza place is a fast-casual restaurant where diners choose their toppings, like at Subway, and then their pizza is assembled and baked in front of them. Pizza Snob is based in Fort Worth, with one location near Texas Christian University.

Brandon Martino, owner of the Martino Group, said the developers wanted to do a new high-end product in the area and see how it sold.

They were a little nervous about being the first residential project on the west side of the Square, but it has turned out well, with 85 percent of the units already leased.

“I think that people like to be able to work, live and walk to do things all right there,” Martino said.

Both property owners said their buildings are leasing well, but some spaces are still available.

With this level of response, Links Construction owner Lee Ramsey said he could see his company and the Martino Group working together on more projects like H Squared.

“We really just wanted to drive the market and see if downtown could handle that high end of a project, and we’ve had a very good response,” he said. “So it’s exciting, because we’d like to build more of that type of product downtown.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.