Home » MBJ FEATURE » Colonial Highlands rebrands, starts with apartment complex

Colonial Highlands rebrands, starts with apartment complex

By JACK WEATHERLY

The owner of what had been called Colonial Highlands has rebranded the mixed-use development as NorthRidge to “position the property for future growth,” and has sold a parcel of land to Birmingham-based Arlington Properties to build a luxury apartment community as a cornerstone in the 152-acre development in northeast Jackson.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed in a release issued Tuesday.

The announcement comes three years after the development plans were approved by the city of Jackson.

Tapestry NorthRidge will be built on 14.4 acres and  feature 220 luxury apartment homes with a clubhouse, pool and full amenity package. The community will boast an outdoor dining and gaming lawn, cyber cafe, fitness center, yoga room, outdoor pavilion with big screen TVs and fireplace, cabanas, a grilling station, urban garden, outdoor seating lounge, grand lawn, pet spa and dog park.

Units will feature top-of-the-market stainless-steel appliances, granite countertops, tile backsplashes, nine-foot ceilings, washers and dryers and walk-in closets. 

Arlington Properties – which created The District Lofts at The District at Eastover – has built major real estate properties nationwide, including luxury developments in Birmingham, Tampa, Cincinnati and Chattanooga. Civil engineering services will be provided by the Pickering Firm.

The first units are expected to be complete by June 2020, and the remainder by October 2020,  Dave Ellis, executive vice president of development for Arlington Properties, said in an email. 

Nearly three years ago, the city of Jackson approved a plan to redevelop the former Colonial Country Club as a traditional neighborhood design.

The apartments will be part of a 660-unit plan approved by the city of Jackson — primarily free-standing residences — with a retail center, including a grocery store and fitness center. The overall project’s price tag was put at $250 million.

This is an iconic area of Jackson in need of more luxury apartment homes that appeal to professionals who desire upscale suburban living,” Ellis said in the news release.

With that in mind, we are creating a resort-style experience minutes from downtown and near the thriving Ridgeland area, emphasizing outdoor gathering and entertaining spaces, fire pits and grilling stations, an urban garden, and dining terraces with comfortable seating.”

This is the first construction project for NorthRidge, and the owner is looking for other projects that will help rejuvenate the community – and enhance the area,” Ellis said. “Additional phases are in the works, and will be announced as plans are finalized.” Dirt work was recently begun on the property.

Luke Guarisco, managing partner of NorthRidge, said in the release: “We are thrilled to launch our NorthRidge brand, and to offer a high-end luxury apartment development to help revitalize this historic part of Jackson,

Arlington Properties has done the same thing with The District Lofts in northeast Jackson, and this will be a cornerstone to our vision for the area.”

Arlington is making its presence felt in Jackson. It built and owned the 261-unit District Lofts at the District at Eastover, which opened in mid-2017. In September 2018, the Birmingham developer sold the complex to Passco Cos. LLC, an Irvine, Calif., private commercial real estate investor. Arlington is still managing the Lofts.

NorthRidge is on the former Colonial Country Club property and will represent the best of mixed-use urban revitalization in the heart of Mississippi’s capital, the release said.

The project got city Planning Board approval in February 2016 and the City Council stamp of approval two months later as a traditional neighborhood, a change from from special use, which is reserved for golf course, parks, churches and other community assets.

The  initial effort by the developers in early 2015 to move forward with a plan was a cause for bad blood and suspicion.

The developers sought to have the city change its zoning code to allow mixed-use development on land zoned for special use, such as parks, hospitals, churches and golf courses. That would have allowed commercial development in those lands without public hearings.

But at a showdown at City Hall with an angry standing-room-only crowd of residents convinced the council members that was not a good idea to pursue. The developers dropped that approach.

The developers had several public meetings later in the year with residents and met with then-Mayor Tony Yarber and other city officials in developing a plan.

The group, Colonial Jackson LLC, enlisted Steven Oubre’ of Lafayette, La., a noted new urbanism architect, to oversee the design.

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About Jack Weatherly