Cathcart Group design drawing 112917

One of the building designs in the Cathcart Group’s proposal filed with Botetourt County.

DALEVILLE — A planned apartment complex that Botetourt County officials hope will help fill a void of affordable workforce housing obtained its needed rezoning late Tuesday night from the board of supervisors.

“We’re glad to see you here,” Supervisor John Williamson told officials with The Cathcart Group of Charlottesville.

The developer plans to build a 266-apartment complex just north of the Exit 150 interchange off Interstate 81.

It is the largest project of its kind to be approved since a jobs boom last year accentuated a shortage of rental housing in Botetourt County. Since then, county officials have been encouraging more apartments with rents best suited for the incomes of nearly 1,200 new manufacturing jobs to be created over the next five years.

“That was a big driver, the jobs,” Cathcart CEO Todd Dofflemyer said.

Cathcart plans to construct eight three-story buildings that will house the apartments on a 17-acre site at the end of Commons Parkway, a dead-end street that provides access to a shopping center off U.S. 220 that includes a Kroger grocery store.

The complex will offer luxury apartments with amenities such as a clubhouse, swimming pool and fitness center. Rents will range from about $950 to $1,400 for the one-, two- and three-bedroom units — rates that Dofflemyer said should be a good fit for the county’s demographics.

Dofflemyer said the complex will be built in two phases, with construction expected to begin by the middle of next year on the first section, which will consist of 168 apartments.

A study commissioned by the county last year found that with so many new jobs on the way, there’s a lack of available land that is appropriately zoned and situated for rental housing — meaning that demand for apartments could quickly outpace supply.

The study pointed to the vacant parcel where the apartments are being proposed as one of several relatively quick-fix solutions to the problem.

Nearly 85 percent of the households in Botetourt County consist of homeowners, many living in mid- to upper-priced houses that for years have been part of a bedroom community to the Roanoke Valley.

Approval of the new apartment complex is the latest indication that the county is adapting to a more diverse population — at least in its southern region, where a new brewery and automotive parts factory are driving economic growth.

Before voting unanimously to approve a rezoning request and a special-exception permit for the apartment complex, the board created a new residential zoning district that will allow for the higher density of apartments that was proposed.

Since May, the county has given the go-ahead for two other apartment developments: A complex with up to 74 units on Bonnie View Lane off U.S. 220 Alternate and an expansion of the Daleville Town Center to include two four-story buildings with about 95 apartments.

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Laurence Hammack covers environmental issues, including the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and business and enterprise stories. He has been a reporter for The Roanoke Times for more than three decades.

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