This time next year, developer John Wise hopes to be finishing up construction on the first phase of a Southside development which will include a restaurant, brewery and 65-unit apartment complex.
He and his partners hope to break ground on the unnamed project by the first of the year and Wise has high hopes for the new development.
"I have been intrigued by the Southside for a number of years," he said. "I worked on the Southside for 10 years and have been interested but was scared because of the chicken plant and crime, but I think over the years it's become an eclectic place where younger people like living."
According to him, the apartments will be urban buildings with hardwood floors and granite counters. The units will be a mix of one and two bedrooms and will rent for somewhere between $825 and $1,100 monthly. In addition to the units, the complex will include a sports pad, workout facility and access to sidewalks and potentially the city's greenway extension.
"I build a higher-end apartment than most as far as quality," Wise said. "The rooftop bar overlooking Finley Stadium is also going to be part of the project and people will be within walking distance to that and other Southside restaurants."
The rooftop bar mentioned is part of an existing local restaurant and brewery that will be located within the development. Wise said he can't yet release a name but said it's a local company looking to expand.
One of Wise's goals for the project, he said, is creating a unique place to live that feels like a community.
"I think it's really going to create urban flair for the Southside," he said of the project. "Being that it's a new product in an old setting and it's so integral with events at the stadium, I think there'll be a lot of attraction there. It's going to be big enough to have its own identity, but not too big."
Despite its close proximity to the chicken plant, Wise said he's not concerned that will detract from the development's success.
"It's always an issue, but I don't think it's a big enough issue to keep people away," he said. "I think [the plant] will go away eventually but it'll be down the road. Maybe the new administration will help push it through."