Kmart Building

The former location of Kmart is seen on Aug. 23. at 1100 McCann Road.

Parkside Apartments, a 180-unit complex proposed at a former Kmart store property, is undergoing site review by the Longview Development Services Department.

Plano architect Steve E. Sullivan applied Dec. 21 to Development Services for a pre-submission proposal for 10 buildings on the 11.4-acre site at 1100 McCann Road. The Kmart store at that address closed in March 2016.

Also Dec. 21, Whitney Walker of Crosspoint Engineering LLC in Tyler applied for site review. According to documents filed with the city, the project would have a construction value of $13.7 million.

The Parkside Apartments complex is in the works for the same property where the former Kmart store is being converted into self-storage units.

Sullivan said he expects construction to begin in a few months and take from eight months to a year to build.

When completed, Parkside will offer an equal number of one-bedroom and two-bedroom units, a clubhouse/office building and swimming pool with a children’s playground.

“Also, this will be a gated community,” Sullivan said.

The property owner decided to build an apartment complex on the former Kmart property based on demographics and availability of land, he said.

Houston-based Longview Development LLC is planning to convert the Kmart building into 500 to 600 self-storage units branded as Simply Stor It. The building covers about 105,000 square feet, city records show.

The LLC hired Boone & Boone Construction of Tyler to convert the building, and the contractor has applied to the city for a commercial alteration permit.

The LLC is making adjustments in its application and plans to submit revisions to the city, Development Services Office Manager Vance Wyly said.

Rents increasing

Residential rents in Longview increased by 0.2 percent in December from a month earlier and were 2.1 percent higher than a year ago, according to a new report from Apartment List.

Rents in Longview have increased for three months in a row, said Apartment List, a rent tracker based in San Francisco that publishes monthly reports.

It reported the median rent in December was $770 for a Longview one-bedroom unit and $940 for a two-bedroom unit.

Jim Tucker, owner of The Fairways apartment complex on McCann Road, said in an email every landlord is happy to see rent increases.

“But the bigger picture is that rent increases wouldn’t be possible unless the local economy is improving,” Tucker said. “For a landlord to get a rent increase, people have to be doing better financially, their jobs must be more secure and they have to have more confidence in the future.”

Longview’s rent increases over the past year exceeded the state average of 1.3 percent, according to Apartment List.

Rents also increased over the past year in eight other Texas cities that Apartment List tracks.

Plano remains the most expensive place to rent of all 10 major cities in Texas, with a median two-bedroom unit going for $1,440. Lubbock, where a two-bedroom unit rents for $820, is the only major city to see rents drop over the past year. They were down 0.2 percent.

Median monthly December rents for two-bedroom units elsewhere in Texas included $1,430 in Austin, $1,230 in Arlington, $1,150 in Fort Worth, $1,110 in Dallas, $1,060 in Corpus Christi and $840 in El Paso.

Austin, Arlington and Corpus Christi saw rent growth over the past year at 3.4, 3.4 and 3 percent, respectively.

Nationwide, rents increased over the past year by 3.3 percent in Phoenix, 2.7 percent in New York City and 2.5 percent in Denver.

Dentists’ partnership

Dr. Michael Scott of Scott Orthodontics has formed a partnership with Smile Doctors Braces, and his clinics will be renamed Smile Doctors Braces by Scott Orthodontics.

“I personally know the orthodontists who founded Smile Doctors Braces,” Scott said in a statement. “They share my passion in providing quality, affordable, fun patient care and supporting our local communities.”

Smile Doctors Braces was founded by Scott Law, Dana Fender and Greg Goggans, all three doctors of dental medicine, in 2015, and it has a presence in more than 10 states.

Scott said he will continue to practice in four clinics in East Texas with offices in Longview, Marshall, Mount Pleasant and Carthage.

The Longview clinic is located at 2830 Bill Owens Parkway. For more information, visit smiledoctors.com/longviewtx .

— Business Beat appears Sunday. If you have items for the column, email to newstip@news-journal.com; mail to Business Section, Longview News-Journal, P.O. Box 1792, Longview, TX 75606; or call (903) 237-7744.