At this time, land is being cleared for a new apartment complex in Marion to be located along the road leading to McDowell High School.

For the past few months, workers have been busy clearing and grading the site for Phillips Ridge, a new 60-unit multi-family apartment complex. Back in March, the Marion City Council approved the annexation of this 8.86-acre parcel of land at the corner of the five lane and McDowell High School Road.

At the March meeting, Joey Russell with Southern Properties & Development Marion, LLC spoke to council about the plans for the property. He said his company would build a 60-unit multi-family apartment complex.

During the summer, his crews started the work of clearing and grading the site. Much of what was happening could not be seen from the five lane because of the surrounding trees. Folks had to drive along McDowell High School Road to see what was happening. But as the autumn leaves are falling, the work is becoming more obvious for people driving by that intersection.

On Thursday, Russell said this complex will be called Phillips Ridge because his company purchased the site from Great Meadows Corp., which is based in Spruce Pine and operated by the Phillips family.

Phillips Ridge will provide affordable housing, similar to Harrison Terrace Apartments on Airport Road. It will have a community building, a gazebo, a playground and units for residents with disabilities.

A tentative date for completion is September 2020.

“It really is more dependent on the weather,” Russell said to The McDowell News. “It could be a little bid sooner or it could be a little bit later than that. You should see a major change at that place in a month or two.”

He added the progress will depend on what kind of winter we have.

“We’re real excited about the new apartment complex and working with the city of Marion,” said Russell.

At the March meeting, Mayor Steve Little said to Russell to come back with more apartment complexes to build. McDowell County has a serious shortage of available housing.

“We’re interested in coming back,” said Russell on Thursday.

He said to The McDowell News that his company is looking forward to building more complexes in the local community once this one is built first.

The dirt that is being removed from the Phillips Ridge site is being trucked every day to the area behind Lowe’s on U.S. 70 West. In September, Byron Phillips with Great Meadows Corp. told The McDowell News that no one new development was planned for that area behind Lowe’s. Great Meadows Corp. owns that area.

Before anything can be built there, the land has to be elevated because it is in a flood plain. The site has to be brought up 6 feet to get it out of the flood plain, said Phillips in September.

On Thursday, Phillips said that it is still the case.

“We have not any contact with any potential tenants, not at this time,” he said to The McDowell News.

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