by Victor Lopez
MIDLAND--The Tall City will soon have it's first, downtown residential development.
The building on the corner of Main and Illinois was originally built in 1909. There is so much history that goes with it, but city officials and developers say, this project is a building block toward the future.
"We're going to try and maintain as much of the historical integrity of the building as we can and still have the most cutting edge, modern features out on the market right now," Josh Hopkins, with Inter Primos Development, said.
Hopkins has been working on "The Lofts on Main" project for four years. On Wednesday, with a flick of a shovel, he became the first to break new ground on residential development in downtown Midland . "It's exciting. It's nerve racking. It's proven to be a challenge, but I am really am excited to be the first one out. Hopefully it'll be the first of many," he said.
Hopkins explained that the concept is simple, turn something old into something new, "We're going to take an old building, built in the 1900's, and covert it into three residential condos. Each of the condos will be between 1 and 3 bedrooms, configured the way the tenant wants it."
Mayor Wes Perry says residence development is the missing component needed in the whole revitalization project. And this could be the push needed to get others interested, "That'll prove the market. So then a bigger project could happen and an even bigger one after that. It's a great template, to follow someone who's already done it before, and it's really best when it's a small project."
Based on what we're told, the market is ripe for the picking, for first time and repeat developers.
"There's no question about it. There are three different buildings, that I know of, that could be residential conversions, relatively soon," Mayor Perry said.
Hopkins agrees, "I think if this project goes well, there's no reason why we wouldn't look at doing a second or third project."
One Midlander has already expressed an interest in one of the three condos. That unit should be completed by late May or early June.