Smoke-free community under construction

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By T.W. Brockenbrough

The Retreat Apartments, a smoke-free living complex, is under construction near Salem exit 141. Submitted photo.
The Retreat Apartments, a smoke-free living complex, is under construction near Salem exit 141. Submitted photo.
Construction of a completely smoke-free apartment community has begun just off I-81 near Salem exit 141.

The developers believe this will be the first large-scale smoke-free apartment community in the area. Brenda Coons, director of marketing for Edward Rose & Sons, said the company has launched similar smoke-free complexes in Ohio, North Carolina and Indiana within the past year.

“Smoking is not permitted anywhere within the community, inside or out,” said Coons in an email. “Our goal is to become a long-time community partner and corporate citizen by providing a high quality development that will stand the test of time and meet the needs of the community.”

The Retreat Apartments will include 12 three-story wood frame structure buildings with 18 to 24 rental units each. With three to four front stairway entrances per building, the layouts allow for each unit to run completely from the front entrance to a patio/deck at the rear. The building exteriors will be of brick, stone and custom siding. The overall development plan also includes future retail pad sites that will be sold separately, at each side of the entrance off of Cove Road.

“The cost of full development, including infrastructure, is approximately $23 million,” said John Houchin, director of construction for Edward Rose & Sons.

Joe Bandy & Sons, Inc. of Roanoke is doing the earthwork and Jack St. Clair, Inc. of Roanoke is installing the underground utilities.

“Buildings one through eight are under construction and projected for first occupancy toward the end of the first quarter of 2016,” said Steve Hormann, director of planning for Edward Rose & Sons. “The clubhouse, pool and fire pit are expected to be complete at the end of the second quarter of 2016.”

In related news just last week, Julian Castro, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, made a proposal to ban lit tobacco products inside public housing nationwide. Smokers already living in places may likely resist the proposed ban. The HUD proposal would not affect private owned housing communities such as The Retreat Apartments.