It didn’t take long for Craig Frank to start construction of Cottage Grove Commons once he received the go-ahead from village officials – and it won’t be long before people and businesses to start moving into the space.

“The mixed-use building is on target for August for completion of phase one,” Frank said. “That will be 40 apartments and the 8,000 square feet of commercial space. The full building should be up six months later.”

The four-story, mixed-use building at the southwest corner of Gaston Road and Highway N will feature commercial properties on the first floor, with 105 apartments above. The site is about 6.9 acres bordered by Highway N on the east, Gaston Road on the north, the entrance to the Gaston Quarry on the west and a line parallel to the northern boundary of Prairie Cemetery on the south.

Offices and apartments will be on the perimeter of the building, with the interior of the structure featuring an indoor parking ramp.

“It’s unique in that townhomes are built into the building,” Frank said. “One- and two-bedroom units and studios will be on the first three levels. About a third of the fourth level will be penthouse-style townhomes up to 2,300 square feet.”

The “Texas Wrap” style of residential surrounding the parking ramp is unique to the area, and Craig hopes Cottage Grove Commons will be the leader in the concept across Dane County. Renters will have dedicated parking spaces on the same level as their apartments.

Commercial renters will also have access to about 20 indoor parking spots, and there will be some surface lot parking, too. Frank said he expects the commercial space to be used as offices rather than retail businesses.

“All units are market rate units aimed at a luxury market with high-end amenities and materials,” said Erin Ruth, village planner. “The first floor elevation of the commercial area is lower than the first floor apartments, allowing for higher ceiling heights in the commercial space. Commercial space tenants will share the building’s amenities.”

While the apartments will be leased at market rate, Frank expects to be able to charge another 10-15 percent due to the uniqueness of the structure and other amenities.

While the parking structure will take up three and a half levels, the very top will provide a 14,000-square-foot outdoor area for tenants, said Cory Frank, son of Craig Frank.

This area will feature a jogging and walking track, tennis court, basketball court, shuffleboard area, grills, fire pits and more. There will also be additional interior common space amenities.

To the west of the mixed-use building will be what will be known as North Windsor Avenue, which will be aligned to one day connect with North Windsor Avenue that currently ends north of Parador Place.

Between the new North Windsor Avenue and the quarry entrance road will be four eight-unit buildings that will offer two- and three-bedroom condominiums.

“The starting points will be in the $220,000s for the two-bedrooms and $240,000s for the three-bedrooms,” Frank said.

“The price point of these units will provide an affordable ownership opportunity that is not often available in the village,” Ruth added.

“The first two buildings will be open about July,” Frank said. “The other two will open as the market demands, but I expect it to be done in 2021.”

The condos will feature heated underground parking with a private entry to each unit. There will be two parking stalls per unit and high-end finishes inside each unit.

He said tenants for the condos and the apartments will have a lot of crossover as far as demographics are concerned, mostly millennials and empty-nesters. But, young families will find the condos more to their liking.

“For the condos, about 80 percent will be first-time homeowners,” Frank said. “The other 20 percent will be empty-nesters. Those in the mixed-use building will rarely have a family.”

Frank said there are some unique elements in the mixed-use building.

“Sustainability is very important, so we’re utilizing a heat pump technology to heat and cool the units. There will be no fossil fuels in these residential units.”

The indoor parking structure also reduces the need for a large outdoor surface lot, which will also cuts down on water runoff.

Frank, who lives in McFarland and has his business headquarters there, is committed to developing in Cottage Grove, specifically at this intersection. He has his eye on vacant properties to the north and south of Cottage Grove Commons with the expectation the area will continue to grow.

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