More condos have just been unleashed on the Highlands market, and with past condo-conversion success stories in the neighborhood, Highland Development Group hopes their most recent project can defy the current real-estate odds. The four-story building (three levels of residences above parking) on Spring Drive between Village Drive and Lauderdale Road dates to 1918 and was designed by local firm Joseph & Joseph. In the last year, however, the building has been transformed into 12 luxury condos on one of the Highlands’ most renowned streets.
Dennis Dutton and Austin Musselman are the developers behind the project. The team felt the unique design of the historic building would create some of the most interesting condos in town. And the building’s design is anything but ordinary. The massive structure twists and turns through its site with turrets, courtyards, and cantilevered bay windows. Dutton and Musselman added a roof deck for good measure as well.
The one and two bedroom units range in size from 1,000 square feet to over 2,300 square feet and are priced between $200,000 and $490,000. The larger units are accessible by elevator and indoor parking is available under the building. A model condo is complete and open for tours every Sunday, but we had a chance to tour the construction site and see every twist and turn of this Highlands castle.
The floor plans at 2000 Spring were designed to offer flexibility between traditional and open plans while maximizing storage space and energy efficiency. One major challenge in the renovation, Dutton says, was creating individually controlled utilities for each condo. A high efficiency HVAC system was added to the building, eliminating the need to share utility costs among the condo association. Highland Development wanted to keep the charm of the 90 year old structure while providing modern conveniences. They were able to recycle the original hardwood floors and install new insulation in the building. Modern kitchens with energy efficient appliances were used as well.
Dutton and Musselman plan to market the building to young professionals and retirees looking for a walkable community. The mix of units was designed with walk-up and elevator access to provide for a multitude of lifestyles. 2000 Spring also has many community features, as well. There’s a fitness center and extra storage space in the basement and an elevated courtyard that Dutton says will have a European feel. He envisions lots of plants, tables and umbrellas all surrounding a central fountain. On a warm summer day, the quiet sound of water and conversation can filter through open windows. Perhaps the most unique addition to the building is the roof deck still under construction high atop the turreted building. From there, treetops and church steeples in the surrounding neighborhood or a calm sunset provide a great view.
The building was originally home to 18 apartments, some of which were combined to make larger, modern units. Highland Development Group wanted to keep the original charm of the layout, though, so a round bedroom in one unit or an octagonal room in another were kept despite the difficulty in construction. Such intricate plans with subtle changes in alignment provide interesting views from every window but would be very difficult to reproduce today.
The 2000 Spring has been on the market for only a couple weeks now (since Thanksgiving), and is scheduled to wrap up construction in mid January. Dutton says he thinks the market in the Highlands neighborhoods remains strong despite the economic downturn but there is a lease-to-own program available for the property. The development team plans to continue work fixing individual homes around the Highlands for now, but hopes to continue developing multi-family housing in the future after 2000 Spring has a chance to sell and the economy improves.