The first tenants moved into Talon Apartments at the intersection of South Locust and Highway 34 on Thursday, almost exactly four months after ground was broken on the project.

Owner Scott Rief, a Grand Island chiropractor, said work on the first apartment building started on Aug. 1.

Even though there were a few touch-up items to be finished, Rief was pleased that the general contractor, Island Edge Construction, was able to meet the deadline they had jointly established. He noted the first 12 apartments are completely finished, with 10 of the 12 already rented.

One of those completed apartments is a furnished model apartment that people can tour. Although the model apartment is furnished, all the apartments that people will rent are unfurnished. He said another 12 apartments will be ready for occupancy in another week, with the final 12 apartments ready for occupancy the week after that.

Work already has started on the next 36-unit apartment complex to the east. Rief said the deadline for completing that building is February 2017. Assuming the second building fills with tenants as quickly as the first, work on the third apartment complex will start in March 2017. “We’ll keep building as long as the units continue to fill up,” Rief said. When it is fully developed, Talon Apartments will consist of eight buildings, each with 36 apartments.

The initial apartment complex has two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments and two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments. Rief said that if tenants make their deposit prior to 2017, rent for the two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartments will be $795 per month, while the two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments will rent for $745 per month.

He said the apartments with two bathrooms have a bathroom connected to the master bedroom, which also features a walk-in closet. The single-bathroom apartments have no bathroom connected to the master bedroom, which is about the only design change between the two types of apartments in the initial building. All the bathrooms have a shower-tub combination.

Rief said the apartments have an open floor design, with the living room opening up directly to the kitchen, which is outfitted with stainless steel appliances. Each apartment also has vertical washer-dryer units, with the washer on the bottom half of the appliance and the dryer sitting above the washer. All the upper-story apartments also have small balconies. Rief said the building also has several ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) apartments.

Future buildings will also include one-bedroom apartments. Rief said that design will “knock out” the wall separating the living room area from the bedroom, pushing the wall back to the master bedroom. He said that will create a more spacious living room area for tenants.

He did some investigation to find out what people want as part of apartment living and he discovered that some people are dissatisfied with the speed of their Internet service. Those comments prompted him to install fiber Internet service in the Talon Apartments. They also have Dish TV service available.

Rief said that tenants will pay extra for the Internet and satellite TV service, but they can choose what level of programming they want to receive from Dish TV.

He said that he has purchased existing homes and apartments to use as rental properties, but the Talon Apartments are the first apartments where he has been involved in everything from design through final construction. The result is apartment units that are very quiet for tenants because of the solid construction, the vinyl planking floors installed in each apartment and the carpeted stairways. He also is pleased with the building’s exterior, saying the exterior colors have a “pop” to them.

Rief said he is interested in how the Talon Apartment complex will change the nature of southeast Grand Island because he sees the potential for other people deciding to develop parcels in that part of town. He noted that the initial tenants have been a mix of professionals and families, with all them tending to be relatively young. However, he noted that he certainly will welcome older tenants so there is a good mix of residents.

“I want this to be a community,” he said.

People who want to know more about Talon Apartments may go to the Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Talonapts/. Rief said that people with questions also may call (308) 380-5967.

“This is the perfect TIF (tax increment financing) project,” said Rief, who noted that the difficulty of extending city utilities to the apartment complex meant the area would have been impossible to develop without the use of TIF.

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I have covered local education issues for The Independent since January 1990 and have worked for The independent since 1978.

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