Wine racks, rain head showers and 55-inch flat screen TVs are just a few of the unusual amenities offered at the Waites, the latest in a slew of upscale apartments in Birmingham.
The mixed-use, 45-unit apartment development on Birmingham's Southside started pre-leasing earlier this month. It's aiming to have its first residents move in in June.
The $16.5 million project, developed by Birmingham's Retail Specialists, has 14 2-bedroom units and 31 1-bedroom units.
"It's really to cater to the medical community, like residents and interns," Developer Rodney Barstein said. "People who get off work at 2 a.m. and want to be asleep by 2:05 a.m."
The development at the corner of 7th Avenue South and Richard Arrington Junior Boulevard does indeed boast access for many in the medical community: it's within three blocks of UAB Hospital and Children's of Alabama and just across the street from the Kirklin Clinic. Barstein said the proximity is his personal favorite thing about the development.
Rents range from $1,350 to $1,495 for one-bedroom units and $1,750 to $1,900 for two-bedroom units. After Jan. 1, you'd have to tack on $99 each month for cable and Internet, which is not optional - it's included until then. There's also a $100 monthly charge for a residential parking spot.
The apartments boast a long list of amenities, including 10-foot ceilings, granite countertops, dimmable lights, smart thermostats and a keyless entry system and unusually large kitchen sinks and microwaves. The showers even have small indentations to make it easier for women to shave their legs and small mirrors to help men shave their faces. The apartments have massive windows around 8 by 5 feet with views of UAB, downtown and Vulcan.
"We were looking for that wow factor," Barstein said.
The bottom floor will have retail tenants including a pilates studio, Farm Burger, Smoothie King, Blaze Pizza, Taco Mama and Roll Up, a build-your-own sushi concept.
Bill Segrest of Williams Blackstock Architects is the architect. Schoel is the project's engineer. Cooper Construction is the project's contractor.
The complex is called The Waites, a nod to the site's former life as Waite's bakery and deli, a Southside landmark known for its ice cream and cakes for more than 60 years until it closed in 1988. Its original name was Central City. Some of the former building's limestone will be used as decorative accents on the new development. Developers broke ground on the project last April.