<strong><strong>The project would transform the vacant structure into a 96-unit apartment complex dubbed Sky Eleven.</strong></strong><hr />
The project would transform the vacant structure into a 96-unit apartment complex dubbed Sky Eleven.
Last edited 3:37 p.m., April 4, 2013

The owners of “Springfield’s original skyscraper,” the Woodruff building, are planning a $13 million renovation that would transform the vacant structure into a 96-unit apartment complex dubbed Sky Eleven.

Tim Roth, a commercial real estate adviser and Woodruff co-owner, said the owners are pursuing financing through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and plans are contingent upon receiving Chapter 353 tax abatement. Roth and business partner and property developer Matt Miller of Matt Miller Co. and The Vecino Group LLC, purchased the 10-story downtown property in November through Woodruff Historic Building LLC.

He said Woodruff Historic Building LLC has received what amounts to a preliminary approval for financing because HUD has asked the developers to submit a firm application for funding after reviewing the development plans.

The developers are scheduled to address the city of Springfield's Planning & Zoning Commission on April 4 to request blighted status for the property.

“It is zoned center city, and that allows for apartments. The reason we are going to Planning & Zoning is the building has to be declared blighted to get the 353 abatement, and that’s part of the process,” Roth said. “We feel like there is a demand downtown. There is high occupancy in other properties existing downtown, and we are going to have amenities with our property.”

Plans for Sky Eleven – a name created after the year the building opened, 1911, as the city’s first skyscraper, according to Roth – would have an exterior pool on the north side of the property, doorman service, a theater room, fitness area, restaurant and office space on the first floor. Roth said the complex would feature studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and construction is expected to begin in late 2013..

“It will be metropolitan-style apartments,” Roth said, noting construction would take a year.

The group has tabbed general contractor Build LLC and architecture/design firm Buxton Kubik Dodd Creative for the building remodel. Miller’s Vecino Group, which is developing the Landmark Building across the street to the north, is also part of the redevelopment team.

“There have been several hurdles with this project. The project is going to be dependent upon the 353 abatement. We are using historical tax credits, and it is dependent on the HUD financing,” Roth said.