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Cornerstone DeKalb apts. at 75 percent occupancy

September 21, 2018

DeKALB – While more people applied than there were apartments for at the Cornerstone DeKalb project, the building is not at full rental capacity.

Project manager Foti Pappas, owner John Pappas’ son, said the 51 apartments are at 75 percent rental capacity, while the retail units are at 100 percent capacity. John Pappas previously said there were 180 people on the application list to live in the building.

Foti Pappas said apartment occupancy was supposed to happen within the first couple weeks of August, but move-in was delayed until a few of weeks ago. Some tenants couldn’t make the move-in window because of the occupancy delay, he said.

“So we did miss out on some of those leases, some of the students,” Foti Pappas said.

Foti Pappas said most of the tenants for the fully-furnished apartments are undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, young professionals and downsizing retirees. He said 90 percent of the apartment tenants came into DeKalb from out of town.

He said rent for the units costs between $1,275 and $1,450 a month, which includes utilities, cable, Internet and access to amenities including a 24-hour fitness center, a hospitality room and a business center.

John Pappas said students who want to live in the units need to have their parents co-sign their lease. If the applicant is not a student, he said, they need to have a salary of $45,000 a year with a credit score above 650.

Barb City Bagels, which started moving into the space in May after its old location was torn down to make way for the parking lot, opened in its new space in July. John Pappas said a 4,500-square-foot tavern-style restaurant is scheduled to open in the building late this fall or in early winter, pending city permits.

John Pappas said the neighboring 1,650-square-foot nail salon should open in about two months, which is about a month later than previously anticipated. Foti Pappas said the city permitting process contributed to the delay.

Next on the docket is the Plaza DeKalb project, which is anticipated to cost $6 million and will include 21 furnished residential suites on three floors above a Mediterranean grocery store. Pappas initially bought the properties at 203, 209, 223 and 229 E. Lincoln Highway for more than $1.2 million with plans to combine them into the mixed-use building. The city has agreed to contribute $1.9 million in tax-incredment financing funding for the project.

Pappas said the two penthouses are finished and the new expected completion date for the four-story apartment building will be in the middle of next summer.

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