The Chadron Planning Commission last night gave a unanimous recommendation that the city council approve a proposed 4-story, 78-unit apartment building on Maple Street between 6th and 8th Streets. 

      The council will consider the nearly $11-million-dollar Heartland Flats Apartments from developer Park Street Apartments at its regular meeting next Monday night.

      Park Street is part of REV Development, which built Chadron’s Holiday Inn Express Hotel and proposed a nearly identical apartment building near Wilson Park last fall. 

     That project was rejected by the planning commission for multiple reasons, a move REV spokesman Mike Works says turned out to be better for the company.

Heartland Flats totals 77,000-square feet on 2.3-acres already with a 20,000-square foot L-shaped apartment building, a 2,400-square foot garage, and about 130 paved parking spots. The developers will seek $1.9-million dollars in TIF bonds from the city.

       The only objections raised last night came from a member of the public, architect Jerry Moss, who told the planners he didn’t think they had enough information about the building’s livability and its impact on the livability of the community.

     Moss said the 4-story proposal was too big with too many occupants, and asked why the developers couldn’t build 4 smaller buildings in different parts of Chadron. 

     Works says Heartland Flats fits the location, just west of two Chadron Housing Authority facilities – West Hills Villa and Royal Court.

Works also says Heartland Flats is the right size to meet Chadron’s housing needs and the economics of such projects.

Works says REV Development has had great success with nearly identical buildings elsewhere in Nebraska, including Columbus – which has had virtually a 100% occupancy rate since opening.

    He sees the primary market for Heartland Flats as young professionals, a group Northwest Nebraska Development Corporation Director Deb Cottier told the planners has been hard to attract to Chadron because of a lack of upper-range rental options.