Baxter approves 5-year apartment construction project – Brainerd Dispatch

BAXTER — Having no vacancies in either of its current apartment complexes for almost five years, Campbell Properties planned Pinehurst Apartments complex — consisting of five 50-plus-unit apartment buildings — to alleviate some of the area’s housing stress.

Relying on the 2023 Cypress Drive and Douglas Fir Drive

improvement project moving

through the Baxter City Council, Joshua Doty, Baxter’s community development director, said completion of the apartment complex is reliant on Cypress Drive being extended to Highland Scenic Road.

Campbell Properties out of Fargo, North Dakota, is behind the Pinehurst proposal. The property is south of Hinckley Road between Douglas Fir and Berrywood drives.

Doty spoke to the council about allowing Campbell Development to create five lots and one out-lot. The development would require rezoning the property from R-2, medium density residential and R-3, high-density residential, to planned unit development.

When complete, the three-story apartment buildings would include attached multi-stall garage buildings and plans call for a 5,166-square-foot clubhouse building. Three buildings would have 57 units each in the plans and two would have 59 units each. The development would include 289 residential units.

A map shows the proposed apartment development and road extension south of Hinckley Road in Baxter.

Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

Given the size and scope of this project, Campbell Properties is planning to utilize a five-year phasing plan to complete the development.

With the Cypress Drive construction planned for 2023, the developer plans to begin construction of two apartment buildings and the clubhouse in 2022 and would continue construction in 2024, with one additional building built each year. Completing the project in 2026.

In landscaping, while the ordinance requires 350 trees, the proposal is for 260 trees and the ordinance calls for 1,015 shrubs, but the proposal is for 571 shrubs.

Doty said the developer would leave a 30-foot landscape buffer south of the buildings and would also install “screen trees” in strategic locations for a buffer from loading docks from the industrial uses across Hinckley Road. Baxter’s city staff questioned, but supported, the deviation from the city requirements.

A field with a vehicle trail continues through the woods where Cypress Drive ends at the Hinckley Road intersection in Baxter.

A field with a vehicle trail continues through the woods where Cypress Drive ends at the Hinckley Road intersection in Baxter. Plans call for an extension of Cypress Drive to connect to Highland Scenic Drive to the south.<br/>

Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

With plans being in place long before construction, council member John Ward asked Doty what staff would recommend if the developers wanted to make changes to the plan.

“The resolution that approves the PUD specifically references their plans that they’ve submitted, with a plan date,” Doty said. “So the site plans that you have in your packet are a very specific approval for this development. If they want to change something, really anything other than a very minor percentage of change that’s allowed under the PUD ordinance, they’d have to go back through the (planning) process.”

A row of pine trees is expected to screen the development from the neighboring twin home development and the required parking islands are also planned to exceed the number required by the city.

Three of the apartment buildings would face Hinckley Drive and would be located west of the future extension of Cypress Drive. Two apartment buildings would face the future Cypress Drive with one apartment building on the east side of Cypress and one apartment building on the west side.

Sidewalks are proposed throughout the development and are expected to connect to the existing trail systems.

The clubhouse building would be at the southwest corner of Hinckley Drive and future Cypress Drive. The apartment buildings are all oriented to face adjacent public streets with attached multi-stall garage buildings located behind each apartment building.

With the rise in the cost of construction, David Campbell, a representative from Campbell Properties, said they do not have a definite rental rate at this time, though the group also owns the Cypress Court and Clearwater Estate apartments in Baxter.

“Our vacancy rate, it’s been 0% for five years,” Campbell said in the meeting. “We have nothing available ever. So we decided (Baxter would) be a great spot to build.”

From the report to the city, amenities would include a community space, pet wash room, package room, gaming area, fitness room and an outdoor playground. The apartments would include elevators, upscale finishes, 9-foot ceilings, central heating and air, private balconies, and attached/heated garages.

Campbell Properties is proposing an out-lot over an existing city stormwater pond, which would be expanded to provide stormwater treatment for the development. Under the proposal, the city would become the owner of the out-lot, as the city has an interest to maintain this pond as public infrastructure.

The planning commission reviewed the applications April 12 and recommended approval, Doty said. The motion to adopt the resolution and ordinance approving the proposal of the Campbell Development Pinehurst Apartments was unanimously approved. Mark Cross was not present at the April 19 meeting.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter


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