Cairo gives green light to new apartment complex

Submitted photoA rendering of what the completed complex will look like

CAIRO — It took a lengthy negotiation over parking capacity at Monday night’s meeting of the Cairo City Council, but construction of a new multi-family apartment complex was eventually given the go ahead.

Developer Jeremiah Horne with True North Way, LLC, who has constructed apartments in the area before, said there is a large demand for multi-family apartments like the 48-unit complex he proposed to build on a currently vacant lot on 4th Street SE due to a scarcity in Cairo.

“We feel like there’s a tremendous need in the community for new, quality housing,” he said. “The economics don’t often work for that, either in new construction for home buyers or for renters.”

The reason for that, Horne said, has little to do with Cairo, but rather because construction and development costs have gone up while incomes for potential renters have not.

To combat that, Horne said the three structures on the complex, which will contain 16 units with a mixture of single-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments, will be designed using energy-efficient Passive House Standards. The voluntary standards, which Horne says are more rigorous than typical housing regulations, will reduce demand for heating and cooling by as much as 90 percent, or what Horne figures is about $50-60 on utilities bills every month.

“There’s not any other project like this in America right now, I’m told,” Horne said. “We’re very excited to bring this to Cairo and give it a shot, see if it works.”

Horne has constructed projects geared toward wide population, and he’s hoping this market-based plan can also attract young families and a slightly more affluent clientele.

“It’s not targeted toward any specific group,” he said, “but rather I expect to have a good mix of all the people who live in Cairo in there.”

Single-bedroom units will likely be somewhere between 500 and 550 square feet, Horne said, and two-bedroom units will be between 750 and 850 square feet. Pricing, which will include utilities, is expected to begin at around $700-725 for single-bedroom units and $800-850 for two-bedroom units.

Work on the project can begin within 90 days.

Officials with the Cairo Planning Commission had approved Horne’s proposal as submitted earlier this month, but City Manager Chris Addleton and Building Official Brian Hayes stated they were concerned that the plan’s mandate for 1.25 parking spaces per dwelling unit was insufficient. City ordinances call for apartment complexes to carry two parking spaces per unit plus an additional space per 10 units, though Horne said in his experience 1.5 spaces per unit is more than enough.

Horne acquiesced to the city’s request for 1.5 spaces per unit, and council members unanimously agreed to approve his proposal with the addendum that it be modified to reflect the change.

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