A long undeveloped corner of Sir Barton Way in Hamburg will soon be a 150-unit apartment complex.
Watermark Residential of Indianapolis has begun construction on the 6.81-acre site at Sir Barton Way and Old Rosebud Road and expects to open the apartments by the end of the year, said development director Josh Purvis.
Watermark at Hamburg Farms, as the complex is to be called, will have two buildings with one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It will include three interior courtyards, a pool and a clubhouse.
The site is the apartment complex company's first development in Kentucky. The company has complexes open or under construction in six states, including Tennessee, according to its Web site.
"We look for sites near high-end retail on affluent sides of town with accessibility and visibility from major roads as well as being near employment centers," Purvis said. "Lexington's always been a market for us that's been real attractive but not one where we could find a place that fit our very strict site requirements.
"When we found this site in Hamburg, it was perfect for us."
The property, across from Midway College's Lexington campus, had been owned for several years by Lexington's Heritage Baptist Church. A company affiliated with Watermark purchased the site for $1.6 million in December from the church, which had owned the land since buying it from the Madden family in 2004 for $975,000, according to property records.
"We had it with the idea of relocating a ministry out there," said senior pastor Greg Waltermire. "It was just bad timing it seemed. The cost of steel, cost of construction and the economy all hit at a difficult time."
During that time, the church relocated from its former home on Swigert Avenue in North Lexington to Ashland Avenue.
"When we relocated here, we still did it with hopes of just being here temporarily and using it as a springboard," Waltermire said. "With the economy, it turned out being a better opportunity to stay here, at which point we put it (the Hamburg lot) on the market."
It took a couple of years for the property to sell. The church used some of the proceeds to pay off the debt on its Ashland Avenue building.
"We have a debt-free ministry, which is something we really wanted to have," Waltermire said. "That's something we would not have had for a long, long time if we had built."