By Ebony Horton: Dothan Eagle
OZARK—An Enterprise real estate developer who said he was involved with the development of Sweetwater Apartments in Dothan and Prattville announced plans Tuesday to locate a similar gated community in Ozark.
The Ozark City Council unanimously approved signing a memorandum of understanding with Incipit LLC for "Camilla Park Apartments" on Tuesday. Real estate developer Bill Ware said he intends to develop Camilla Park near the intersection of U.S. Highway 231 and Alabama Highway 27, near the Hampton Inn, into an upscale gated community of 136 one, two and three-bedroom apartments.
Ware said the communities like Sweetwater in Dothan and Prattville that are similar to the proposed development are typically gated with two-story walkups, a clubhouse, laundry facility, fitness center, tanning salon, and water features.
Ware said the apartments would generally run from around $650 and up a month.
Ware said that under the memorandum of understanding, the city will purchase the building materials for the project and be reimbursed by the developer. Ware said the agreement could save around $400,000 to $500,000 on sales tax for a $10 million project.
Ware said another component of the memorandum of understanding is an incentive that says the project will lease so many units per month with the city undersigning a sort of "master lease," which says the city will make good on the rents that would otherwise be due if the apartments are not occupied within 30 months.
Ware said the developments generally take up to a year to build.
"A number of companies would like to come to Ozark, but when they ask where their 50 or so employees are going to reside, those options are limited. I believe the city looks at this project as a stimulus and a real catalyst for the next level of growth," he said.
"Our history is such that we try to create a community within our properties, recognizing that a lot of folks at all ages choose rental housing as opposed to buying single-family homes or townhouses, for the most part because of a lack of having to worry about maintenance."
Ozark Mayor Billy Blackwell said such a project has been long awaited in the city.
"This would be very attractive to our neighbors at Fort Rucker, very convenient, and certainly something I think that's well within the line of the next step we need to take to move our city forward," he said.