CLAYTON — Renters in Johnston County’s fastest-growing town will soon have more choices.
Two apartment complexes are under construction here, and a developer is looking to build a third. If all three come to pass, the number of apartments in Clayton would soar by nearly 800.
“There’s been a shortfall of apartments, and we are now seeing a correction in the market to meet the current demand,” said town planner David DeYoung.
At two of Clayton’s larger apartment complexes – Amelia Village and Parkside Village – demand is high. Late last month, Parkside Village had 92 percent of its apartments under lease, according to its management company. Amelia Village had 90 percent under lease.
Howard and Lenore Sweeney recently moved from Wilson’s Mills to an apartment in Parkside Village. The New York transplants are renting while they decide if they want to buy a house.
“We moved to these apartments because of their location,” Howard Sweeney said. Parkside Village is just down the road from their son’s school, West Clayton Elementary. And the apartment complex is close to Interstate 40, making for a short commute to the couple’s jobs in Raleigh.
Sweeney said renting makes more sense right now than buying. He and his wife aren’t sure they’re ready to put down roots, and the comparatively low cost of renting means they can set aside money for a house if they go that route.
Laura Bradford moved out of Parkside Village late last month. She and her family lived there for six months while building a house.
Bradford said the family chose to rent an apartment because they could not find a house to rent for just six months.
They moved to Clayton from Garner to be closer to their church and because of the town’s quality of life.
“We just love Clayton,” Bradford said. Though she home-schools her four children, they enjoy the town for its safety and family-friendly environment.
What’s to come
The three apartment complexes that are either under construction or in the planning stage are in areas with commercial growth. One is near downtown, one is by the hospital, and one is near U.S. 70 Business, on the Raleigh side of Clayton.
The apartments closest to completion are The Arbors, a 292-unit complex under construction near the intersection of Front Street and Old U.S. 70.
At the moment, no road connects The Arbors to the rest of Clayton, but that will change this spring, when the extension of Front Street opens.
The apartments are next to Mill Village, an old cotton mill that two business partners are planning to transform, perhaps into a multipurpose recreation center with shops that would cater to active lifestyles.
The Arbors will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Amenities include a swimming pool, picnic area and dog park.
Also under construction, but not as far along, are the Apartments at Amelia Station on N.C. 42 West near Johnston Medical Center. The 216 apartments will have a Sheetz nearby.
Late last month, a developer presented a plan to build apartments near the intersection of U.S. 70 Business and Shotwell Road.
The Promenade would have 288 units. The planning department has backed the zoning change needed to make the apartments happens. The town council will have the final say.
Maggie Lockwood is a spokesperson for Caviness and Cates, the developer behind The Promenade. “We feel Clayton is an underserved market,” she said.
Caviness and Cates knows that other complexes are under construction in Clayton, but the company saw a need for higher-end apartments here, Lockwood said.
In assessing Clayton, Caviness and Cates looked at its population, schools, availability of apartments and expected growth, among other factors, Lockwood said. The company determined that Clayton has a shortage of about 500 apartments, she said.
The Promenade will have one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. It will be a gated community with a 24-hour fitness center, pool, dog park and theater room. Prices would range from $800 to $1,100.
The apartments would be across U.S. 70 Business from the Cleveland Draft House, which is under construction.
“This shows Clayton is a desirable place to live, and we want to have housing for everybody who wants to live here,” DeYoung said.