Apartment complex planned for Wilderness Hills area

A joint development group is building a 220-unit apartment complex near the Wilderness Hills shopping center at 27th Street and Yankee Hill Road, Lincoln, NE

SB Development, a partnership of BlackRidge Companies of Bozeman, Mont., and Sterling Management of Mishawaka, Ind., filed nearly $14 million worth of building permits last week for the complex, called Aventine at Wilderness Hills.

Lance Swank, president of Sterling Management, said construction is scheduled to start in June, and the first units should be available in December or January. Construction on the entire complex should be complete next spring.
The complex will have a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and Swank said rents will range from about $650 to $1,300 per month.

Amenities will include a large clubhouse with a media room, a business center and Internet cafe, a 24-hour fitness center, a heated swimming pool, a fire pit and grilling area, an onsite car wash, attached and detached garages and storage units.

The complex will be built at about 33rd Street and Wilderness Hills Boulevard, on land that is south and east of Kohl’s.

This is the first project in Nebraska for either company, but Swank said Lincoln is similar to the markets in which Sterling Management operates.

He said the company focuses on “secondary” markets, mid-size metro areas.

Lincoln fits that profile,” Swank said.

Another reason Lincoln was attractive is its very low apartment vacancy rate, he said.

According to real estate data firm REIS, Lincoln’s 2.4 percent vacancy rate was tied for the 10th-lowest in the country in the fourth quarter of 2012.

“We think there’s significant demand for rental housing in Lincoln right now,” Swank said.

He said the company chose the location because it met the company’s demographic criteria.

Though the commercial portion of the Wilderness Hills area has been slow to develop, Swank said Sterling Management sees lots of potential for the area.

“We think it’s really a future up-and-coming area that’s going to see a lot more development,” he said.

Swank said the company’s plan is to build at least two more complexes in Lincoln, although he provided no concrete timetable for when those expansions may occur.

The Aventine complex continues what has been a growing resurgence in apartment construction that started in 2010.

Including Aventine, there now have been building permits issued for more than 1,500 new apartment units in Lincoln since the beginning of 2010

April 02, 2013 2:03 pm  •  By MATT OLBERDING / Lincoln Journal Star