Demolition soon will make way for the Bos — a $22.2 million housing development in the Morton Meadows neighborhood.
Bluestone Development’s Christian Christensen said the name (pronounced like boss) was inspired by the Bauhaus design to be reflected in the 158 dwellings planned for the 2.6-acre site near Saddle Creek Road and Pacific Street.
One piece of the project calls for a row of 24 townhouse-style dwellings along Pacific, to be built where four houses will be cleared.
Behind the townhouses, on the site of an old warehouse, will rise a 134-unit apartment complex. Preparation began this week for heavy demolition set to start next week.
All the units would be rented, said Christensen, who founded Bluestone along with his wife, Debra. He said the company prefers to manage and own its new housing. (Earlier projects, such as the downtown Rows at SoMa and Towns at Little Italy, were for-sale dwellings.)
Architects for the Bos use the words “simple,” “clean” and “crisp” to describe the style and color of structures that will become part of a neighborhood whose residents expressed a mix of emotions early on.
Donna Collins, who owns a day care business next to the project site, said she remains concerned about parking availability along Pacific, which is lined with older homes already competing for on-street spaces.
On the other hand, Collins is among neighbors glad to get rid of the warehouse property she said hadn’t been well-maintained.
“I think it will clean up the area, quite frankly,” she said of the Bos.
Rick Hauptman, president of the area neighborhood association, said a project update at a meeting earlier this week flew by without concerns. “Now that the project is moving, it appears that much of that early uprising, if you will, has dissipated.”
Hauptman said he was pleased the site will have a residential use. “It’s more people to support the local businesses around here.”
Monica Erickson of Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture said the Bos team dealt with contrast: Part of the project faced a fast-moving urban lifestyle along Saddle Creek Road, while another part was along the slower, residential Pacific Street.
The townhouses were designed with gabled roofs, front porches and other features to fit with the single-family houses on Pacific.
The larger apartment building is to rise five stories and will include underground parking, surface parking and an outdoor courtyard.
City planning documents say the project — estimated to be done in spring 2020 — furthers the city’s master plan by providing infill housing. A memo noted that the Destination Midtown Plan calls for a diverse housing mix for employees of major institutions such as the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which is less than a half-mile away.
The project won approval for $2.6 million in tax-increment financing, was endorsed by the Planning Board last December and was officially approved this month by the City Council.
Asked about the name, Greg Daake, of the Daake branding strategy and design firm, said Bos emerged from a brainstorming session, which also produced the name of Bluestone’s last project, the Zag apartments near 51st and Mayberry Streets.
Bos was a spinoff of Bauhaus, a Germany-rooted design movement described as a no-frills approach that favors practicality but is pleasing to the eye.
Daake said the name aims also to project Bluestone’s spirit. “Forward-thinking, nontraditional,” he said. “A little off the grid, from the name perspective.”