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Melissa council approves plans for community of rental homes

Joshua Baethge,
The Anna-Melissa Tribune
Melissa City Council members bow their heads during the invocation at the June 9 meeting.

MELISSA - At its meeting June 9, the Melissa City Council approved plans for a 19-acre master-planned development at the southwest corner of Sam Rayburn Highway and Milrany Lane.

The area will be called Avilla Springs and will include one-, two- and three-bedroom single-family residential homes. There will also be a commercial component which may or may not include a convenience store.

When the project was presented to Melissa’s Planning & Zoning commission, developer NexMetro Communities proposed that a convenience store be prohibited from the corner commercial section of the land. P&Z approved the development with this exception excluded.

The City Council ultimately went with the developer's original plan, prohibiting convenience stores both with and without gas pumps.

According to Jason Flory of NexMetro, there is an increasing demand for single-family rental homes. Many people consider it maintenance-free living since the property manager handles most of the general upkeep and repairs.

“We’re excited about this project,” Flory said. “This is truly a new housing option for the city.”

Over the past three years the company has rapidly expanded in North Texas with developments in McKinney, Celina, Arlington, Fort Worth, Forney and others. It also has a strong presence in the Phoenix and Denver metro areas.

The neighborhood is a kind of hybrid between a traditional neighborhood and an upscale apartment complex.

The homes are detached, but they are in relatively close proximity to each other and share communal spaces including swimming pools, putting greens and clubhouse space.

According to company data, the majority of NexMetro residents are single professionals who want a “lock-and-leave” lifestyle.

Oftentimes, their work responsibilities or travel schedules don’t leave them adequate times to maintain a traditional home. This style of living has also become increasingly popular with couples who don’t have kids, as well as empty-nesters.

One-bedrooms homes will likely be rented for $1,450 per month. The three-bedroom option may top $2,000 monthly.