Melks Lofts Nearly Complete

Work is nearing completion at one of the gleaming lofts that are increasingly characterizing the neighborhood surrounding Cherry Street.
Architect and developer Kevin Stephens, president of Kevin Stephens Design Group Inc., along with listing agents JoAnna Blackstock and Sue Ann Blair, both with Chinowth and Cohen, will hold an open house from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 22 at the new Melk Lofts, 1429 S. Quincy Ave.
Stephens said his goal with the five, 1,300-SF units is to take part in the urban renewal sweeping the area.
“My first goal with this project was to create density,” Stephens said. “Originally, the lot was occupied by a small house that we weren’t able to save. Since we had to tear the house down, I wanted to replace it with as much housing as I could.”
The idea was not new to Stephens, who regularly operates in limited-space markets like San Francisco. And when one can’t build out, build up.
Thus was born the Melk Lofts three-story design. The ground level of each unit features a one-car garage, guest bedroom and bathroom, as well as a private, enclosed courtyard. The second floor is a primarily open space consisting of a living room, dining room and kitchen. An enclosed laundry room is also on this floor. The third level contains the master bedroom, master bathroom and access to a rooftop deck.
Just as the size of the lot influenced his three-story design, Stephens said the design influenced the target market.
“With this particular product, because of the location on Cherry Street and the multilevel design, the target market ends up being geared more toward young professionals,” he said. “When we start getting into our single-story developments downtown, we see more empty nesters moving from the suburbs.”
Blackstock said the units appeal to a broad range of clients.
“One level of interest has been from investors looking to buy in Tulsa,” she said. Unit B of the lofts, the unit shown at the open house, was purchased by such an investor and is available for lease.
“This project also appeals to people who have relocated to Tulsa and are used to living in a walkable community,” Blackstock said. “The third group is made up of part-time residents who don’t want to keep up with an older midtown home.”
Blackstock said the relatively low price of $250,000, roughly $192 per SF, makes Melk attractive to investors.
“It is the least expensive option as midtown lofts go,” she said.
The low price was also part of Stephens’ design.
“I wanted to build quality housing with quality finishes that were also affordable,” he said. “It was important to me that they be below the FHA loan limit ($271,050) so people could buy them at 3.5 percent down. I want them to be accessible, and that price leaves room for some customizing.”
At time of press, four of the five units were still available. ?

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