Friday morning, representatives of the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce gathered with representatives of Premier Real Estate Management, for the official ribbon cutting of the new 36-unit Rock Ridge Estates apartment complex, located at 900 Rock Ridge Court.
According to Mayor Bill Bialecki, the property was one of a few parcels the company considered when approaching city administration for development in 2015.
Bialecki and City Administrator Dave Johnson agreed during brief comment Friday morning; the apartment complex plan brought forth by Premier, addressed a long standing need for quality housing in the city.
As showcased Friday morning by Premier Assistant Regional Manager Debbie Leverance, the 36-unit complex brings a unique touch to local apartment rentals; complete with built-in microwave, stove range and refrigerator units as well as attached garages. All units are 2-bedroom with spacious, open floor plans spanning nearly 1,100 square feet each.
According to Casey Duffey-President of Brookfield, Wis. based Premier Real Estate Management- the draw for a development in Merrill was due in large part to the company’s focus on targeting development in mid-sized communities.
“We tend to focus on mid-sized communities. We have built in Rhinelander, Wausau and Tomahawk,” he explained.
“We own properties in Merrill but have never built here. Merrill is a nice community and city leaders expressed a need for housing, so it was a good fit for our business.”
When the development of Rock Ridge broke ground last year, plans included a potential 3-phase project consisting of 36 apartment units per phase. Duffey indicates the company is already looking ahead to the second phase of an additional 36 units; pending success of renting the current complex.
As of Friday morning, Leverance indicated approximately 18 of the 36 units are currently rented.
“We would like to assure our current development is completely rented before proceeding to our next build in phase two,” Duffey added.
“We are optimistic phase one will be rented within the next 3-4 months. We could possibly begin phase two by mid-summer of this year.”
Duffey indicated the third phase of development is possible in the future, but will be dependent on the success of phase 1 and 2 rentals.