Status of upscale apartment complex up in air


The City of Petal has been anticipating the development of a new upscale apartment complex, however the project has been put on hold for the time being. The project, which was announced last August and was slated for construction on Byrd Boulevard, has been halted as a result of budget and financial issues.

Members of York Development met Monday to examine the resources and financial capital necessary to determine whether the project will be feasible or not.

“It’s definitely in the works, but we can’t say whether it’s definitely going to happen or not,” said Realtor Mark Graham, who sold the land for the project. “They are trying to make the numbers work now through bids and financing.  Those are the two areas we are working on – getting good bids and getting the right financing to make the project work.”

Graham explained that the budget issues are a result of the steadily increasing costs of construction. Additionally, he added this increase is due to the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Harvey in August/September of last year, which damaged approximately 203,000 homes, mostly in Texas.

“The cost of building is constantly on the rise,” he said. “The cost of materials have shot up and the cost of construction has never stopped going up. Rents don’t rise as fast as the cost of construction has been rising.”

While no definitive decisions have been made, Graham said they hope to know within the next couple of months whether they will go through with the project. The development team has already spent a considerable amount with engineers for the preliminary work.

The complex, which initially sported a price tag of approximately $15 million, would be the first luxury development of its kind in Petal. With five buildings and 132 units, the complex’s amenities would include a large pool, fitness center, cyber café, billiards room, children’s playground, car wash area and more.

Should the project development proceed, the construction would create approximately 300 jobs. Additionally, York’s attorney Ron Farris said last year that it would potentially put $14 to $15 million on Petal’s tax rolls.

Mayor Hal Marx explained that he doesn’t expect the project to be totally canceled from what he understands.

“As far as I know, the project isn’t canceled,” he said. “It’s just not happening as soon as they thought it would when we started this project last year.”

“We are just waiting on’go,’” he added.

Graham explained that while the circumstances have been rather unfortunate for the project, some recent decent bids may help the overall situation.

“Unfortunately the bids have been coming back very high, but we actually have gotten a couple lately that were very good,” he said. “Although it started off looking kind of grim, now its back to being very much a possibility.”