Yesterday I had the opportunity to get a tour of the new CityView Apartments, located at 7th and Iowa. I was shown the building by the owner, Matthew McDonnell. As many of you know, this building has a long and unfortunate past as the Courtland Apartments. Nearly all of you will be pleased to know that Mr. McDonnell is doing this project completely without taxpayer's money in any form. No city deals, no tax-credits, no low income housing credits, no historic credits. Considering the past of the building, filled with public money and wasteful failures, this is probably a popular decision.
These are luxury apartments. They aren't cheap, but they are very, very nice. They're also a completely different, more traditional style compared the industrial loft style of the Alexander properties. The building is made up of 36 1 and 2 bedroom apartments, ranging in price from $650 to $975 a month. The kitchens really struck me as the leading indicator of the "luxury" status of the apartments. Porcelain and ceramic tile countertops, ceramic tile floors in the kitchens and bathrooms, flat range ovens with built in microwaves, etc. They also have very nice woodgrain cabinets, and they fit in well with the luxury style. While the Davenport Lofts have extremely nice kitchens also, they are a bit more utilitarian in keeping with the style of the buildings.
The building is roughly U-shaped, but during one of the previous renovations, a center public space was built in the middle of the "U." The 2nd floor has railings overlooking the first floor common room, and the 4th floor overlooks the 3rd floor common room. I was especially impressed with how nice these rooms were, especially the 3rd floor room. They are big, with several groupings of tables and/or chairs. Because of the design of the building, only 8 apartments face each of the 2 big common rooms, so it seems like you could have a good atmosphere in there. Mr. McDonnell said they considered a pool table for one of the rooms, but decided that it had too much risk for noise complaints. They are both expected to have wireless internet access. Also, they will allow up to two pets. (Hear that WindingHills?)
The whole place has really been cleaned up, and I realized later that I should have asked if there were any "Before" pictures. There's a rooftop deck that has an amazing view from top of the hill. The main offices of McDonnell and Associates Rental Properties will also be located in the lower level of the building. There are enough off-street parking places for all residents, including 18 garaged parking spaces available for an extra fee. Matt really emphasized his commitment to maintaining a good environment with good residents, and certainly didn't come across as the type of landlord to let things slide as long as the rent is paid. Obviously I'm extremely happy about this, as another 36+ well-behaved residents added to the area should really help the momentum of the whole east side of downtown.
Click thumbnails for larger images
After my hour-long tour, we spent 2 hours talking city politics and apartment stuff, and that really deserves its own post sometime. I'll summarize it by saying that I wish Mr. McDonnell had as much impact on elections as the QCRPA has lately.
We should all be cheering for this project, and for a long-needed success story for the Courtland.
The website for the CityView apartments can be found at CityViewDavenport.com