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Brian Ellis on Parks Edge, NRI’s Proposed 12-Story Condo Building

Brent Warren Brent Warren Brian Ellis on Parks Edge, NRI’s Proposed 12-Story Condo BuildingRendering provided by NRI, Architecture by HOK.
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Last week, Nationwide Realty Investors announced plans to build a 12-story residential tower at the northeast corner of Spring Street and Neil Avenue. The 12-story building, which would add 69 luxury condominiums to the Downtown market, will be presented to the Downtown Commission at its November 17th meeting.

We caught up with NRI President and COO Brian Ellis for a brief chat about the proposed building — he shared some details about the design, plans for future phases, and his thoughts on how the new units will compare with the Condominiums at North Bank across the street.

CU: This project has been a long time coming, are you excited to have the preliminary design out there and to be getting close to moving forward with it?

BE: It’s an exciting time. We’ve been anxious to roll this out, because we have so much interest – and have had – since the first time that I mentioned in the media that we were planning for our next condo project. We got inquiries then, and now we’re really seeing a lot of interest, just with posting of your article and some others, the emails have really started to pour in. We’re not surprised, but it’s still gratifying.

CU: What are the factors that went into the decision on how high to build this project? Did you give any thought to mirroring North Bank across the street (which is a 20-story building)?

BE: We considered it, but really thought that this was the right approach to try and blend back into the Arena District scale. This building and the phase two building will be a similar scale – they will both face Spring, while the third building would face the park, and our current thinking is that it would take its cues from Burnham Square to the north.

CU: That second phase building, would that be similar to Parks Edge, then, with lots of glass?

BE: We expect them to be compatible, conceptually, at least that’s the way we see it. This building (Parks Edge), is a little bit of a blend with the two stories of stone on the ground floor, and the smaller scale compared to North Bank. The first two levels are townhomes, then we are planning a lot of stone in the landscaping also along Spring – those details will be fairly similar to the landscaping at McFerson Commons.

CU: Any plans for retail on the first floor?

BE: No retail, that’s all townhomes – on the north side of building, facing a new private new street (in between Parks Edge and the Eye Center building), the townhomes will have front doors opening onto the street, and on the south side, on Spring, they won’t have front doors, but more of a terrace that overlooks the North Bank Park.

CU: In terms of the product, how will these units be different from the North Bank condos?

BE: Broadly speaking, they are very much a comparable project in terms of quality. The goal was to meet the highest quality standard that we could with North Bank, and they were very well received. So hopefully we’ll accomplish the same things with this project.

That said, we looked for opportunities to be even better, and we think we’ve accomplished that with this plan. There will be a little greater emphasis on providing outdoor space, with the pool and the great space on the roof of the garage… that’ll be something that will add value.

Another is the two-story glass atrium, that will be essentially the connection point between phase one and phase two. Guests will enter the building there – it’s a two-story building, and would serve both the east and west towers, and the walkway from the parking building would also go into the atrium.

It will house our concierge and also have a catering kitchen, and a large terrace on the south side overlooking North Bank Park, the river and skyline. It will be a great inside-out space, with a glass wall that will have accordion doors open all the way up… great views in social setting.

We’ll also have a guest suite in Parks Edge — essentially a hotel room available for residents and their guests.

CU: The parking garage, with 327 spaces – is the idea that it could accommodate the future phases as well?

BE: We expect it to — there’s always a little bit of guesswork, but given our best judgement for what the demand will be, we think that 327 spaces will accommodate all three phases. And for the time before the other phases are built, those spaces can be made available for other needs.

CU: Do you see a potentially quick start on phase two if the demand is strong for this building?

BE: Our thinking on the second phase, we just want to react to demand. We’re obviously bullish on the level of interest that we’ve had so far, and we’ll want to continue to have residential available for purchase. So, if we move through the first phase, there’s no impediment to starting on the second. Like in everything we’ve done, we’ve reacted to the market demand, and we do expect it to be strong.

For more information, visit www.parksedgecondos.com.

Rendering provided by NRI, Architecture by HOK.

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