Urbane Apts to renovate downtown Ferndale building

Ferndale is apparently the new 'it' place for Urbane Apartments. The Royal Oak-based firm has just bought its first building it plans to rehab in downtown Ferndale.

"We want to be in Ferndale and we want to be as close to the 9 Mile and Woodward intersection as possible," says Eric Brown, principal of Urbane Apartments. "Ferndale is a vibrant, untapped rental market."

Untapped by Urbane at least. The company owns apartments in southeast Oakland County's vibrant downtowns, such as Royal Oak and Berkley. Its M.O. is to buy undervalued apartment buildings in need of renovation, rehab them and add unique touches. The end result is a unique product that separates itself from the humdrum Metro Detroit apartment commodity.

The Breckenridge Apartments will be the company's 14th building. Set one block west of Woodward Avenue and two blocks north of 9 Mile Road, the apartment's renovation should take about one year, restoring its 22 units back to their 1930s glory.

"We plan to do a complete rehab there," Brown says. "It's a pretty cool building. It has some cool architectural features like our apartment building in downtown Royal Oak."

Urbane also plans on adding some environmentally friendly features to the structure, too, such as fluorescent lighting, bamboo floors, recycled carpet, motion detector light switches and energy efficient temperature controls.

Source: Eric Brown, principal owner of Urbane Apartments
Writer: Jon Zemke
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