by Dan Rafter
What’s one of the biggest drawbacks of apartment living? What if the family living above you has a toddler that likes to run across her kitchen floors at 4 a.m.? What if the recent college graduate living above you plays the drums? What if the bickering couple one floor up likes to spend their evenings shouting at each other?
Depending on the tenants living immediately above your head, peace and quiet might be in short supply.
That’s where Redwood Communities Group comes in. The company, which boasts a portfolio of more than 4,800 apartment homes in Ohio, Michigan and Indiana, builds just one type of apartment community: single-story ones.
The rationale for this is simple. As Redwood’s own marketing material say, “Every individual wants to live in an apartment home that is of a single-story design with an attached garage and no stairs, compared to a walk-up or two- or three-story garden-style apartment complex.”
Brokers Bill Drinkall and Al Stovall with Fort Wayne, Ind.-based NAI Harding Dahm, know just how successful this approach can be. The two CRE pros are working with Redwood to find sites for them in Northern Indiana.
Drinkall and Stovall recently represented Redwood in its purchase of 32.25 acres of land at 1225 W. Wallen Road in Fort Wayne. The company will develop its one-story luxury apartments at this location.
“The communities they build don’t have amenities such as clubhouses or playgrounds. They build one-story luxury apartments that are aimed at the empty nester and the professionals in the area,” Drinkall said. “They have been quite successful at putting this type of product out there for people who want a very well-kept and clean and quiet place to live. It is a home without owning. It’s not like living in an apartment because there is no one above you.”
Drinkall said that Redwood has a goal to build at least 2,000 of these units in Indiana, a mission the company started last year.
Both Drinkall and Stovall say that Fort Wayne makes sense for Redwood because of its demographics.
“Fort Wayne is known for its neighborhoods,” said Stovall. “There is a variety of homes here, from the starters to the move-up to the luxury. This is a great place to live and raise a family. Once residents here get to the empty-nester category they still love the town. It makes sense for them to downsize the family home and move on to a property like this.”
Stovall and Drinkall work with Redwood, too, through the due-diligence process that the company conducts before building its single-story homes. This might involve speaking to neighbors about any concerns they might have. It might involve researching the history of a piece of land or doing the preliminary research on any easements Redwood might need to acquire.
“We’ll be out in front,” Drinkall said. “We get everyone together and find the contacts they need. We work with them through the proces. It’s not just, ‘Here’s a piece of land. Do your thing.’ We work closely with them through the entire process.”