It’s a good time to be a fan of downtown Longview living.
After Alton Plaza opened in March in the renovated historical Petroleum Building on East Whaley Street, another apartment complex in a landmark building is set to be completed before the end of the year.
Tenants have rented at least two-thirds of the 48 apartment units at Alton Plaza.
One of those is Jameisha Jones, 20.
“I wanted something different,” said Jones, who rented a one-bedroom unit on the fourth floor. “I looked all over Longview, and I did not see nothing I liked.”
Jones said she likes the view of the Gregg County Courthouse and the nearby city water tanks as well as living within walking distance of museums, shopping and restaurants.
“Pretty much, I love it here,” Jones said. She said a high school classmate moved in as well and believes she and her friend are the youngest tenants at Alton Plaza.
As of this past week, the remaining units consisted of nine two-bedroom apartments available for rent at the reduced or “affordable” rate of $771 a month and the others at market rates, said Nichole Summerville, leasing agent for Alton Plaza. The other units are available at the market rates of $800 for efficiencies, $950 for one bedrooms and $1,100 for two bedrooms.
Alton Plaza has made units available at the affordable rates to residents and families who earn from 50% to 60% of the area’s median income, which is just under $60,000. Four units were for tenants earning no more than 30% of the median income. Alton Plaza set aside 15 units at market rates.
Alton Plaza offers amenities that include a cybercafe, fitness center, arts and crafts and media rooms, according to altonplazaapartments.com. It occupies a building that Saigebrook Development of Austin converted from the Petroleum Building, which dates to 1954 and had been vacant for years and in a state of disrepair.
Contractors spent 15 months rehabbing and renovating the Petroleum Building under a project of about $10 million.
Saigebrook used the building’s historical significance to obtain $1.1 million in federal tax credits over a 10-year period through the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. The city of Longview also approved a $600,000 loan to Saigebrook to make up for a shortfall in financing the renovations.
Like Saigebrook, Four Corners Development of Springfield, Missouri, applied for and received federal tax credits to convert the 85-year-old, six-story Heritage Tower at 208 N. Green St. into a 36-unit apartment complex. When completed, it will house renters 55 and older.
Hamilton Builders, also of Springfield, started the $5.5 million renovation project at Heritage Tower, formerly known as the Weaver Building and by other names, by demolishing the former offices on the fourth to six floors this past July.
Hamilton Builders is on schedule to complete the project in November and begin leasing units in December, Superintendent Terry Fontenot said in a statement.
Crews recently installed cabinets, trim and bathroom fixtures on the fourth through sixth floors, and cabinets and trim on the third floor, he said.
Work on the parking lot also was set to start.