Ed Thompson calls the housing complex he debuted Thursday a little slice of Florida.
The complex was 60 percent full at Thursday's ribbon-cutting ceremony, with another 20 percent preleased already. Thompson said he predicts by January, there won't be an empty room on the 400-acre site.
The idea, he said, is to provide affordable housing and keep young families just starting out in Tyler.
“Keeping them here will help Tyler continue to grow,” he said.
The apartments are more like homes, he said, so when a young family is ready to move out, they're ready to own a home, which strengthens the community as a whole.
Property manager Robin Bishop said of the three new properties opened by the company she's worked for, the response in Tyler had been the greatest.
“We've had a really great reaction,” she said. “We've had a lot of traffic.”
She said at other properties, it's taken more than a year to fill up a complex such as the North Chase facility, which began taking applications in September.
Tyler Economic Development Council President Tom Mullins said the response from the community demonstrated the need for affordable housing for Tyler residents.
“It speaks volumes because there are a lot of hard-working folks that are in the low- to moderate-income bracket,” he said. “There are a large percentage of people in Tyler who fall in that area.”
Mullins said the possibility that the area would be developed is something that years ago would never have crossed people's minds. Now, the potential is there for Tyler to expand northward even more.
“I'm very hopeful that in the short term, we'll see some retail and commercial growth in the area,” he said.
Thompson said the idea that people are ready to purchase a home when they move is an integral part of what the company does and that's the hope behind what Pinnacle at North Chase will do for Tyler.
“It's important because that should be everyone's dream: to own a piece of America,” he said.