Washington City Hall

A proposed 15-building apartment complex may be ushering in the next wave of a building boom in Washington, according to city officials. 

The Washington City Council is expected to vote Monday to approve a preliminary plat for Terrace in Washington, a 23-acre housing development that would be built on the south side of Highway 100 near Pottery Road and High Street.

The Terrace in Washington would include 310 apartment units, according to documents presented to the Washington Planning and Zoning Commission, which unanimously recommended the council approve the preliminary plat.  

The developer behind the project is Monty Taha, who is listed in state documents as being the developer of the Legends Terrace Apartments in Eureka. Taha did not return The Missourian’s calls requesting comment. 

Washington Community and Economic Development Director Sal Maniaci said the buildings would be constructed in two phases. The city is not requiring the developer to submit architectural renderings of the property because it is not considered a planned district. 

Maniaci said it is unclear when construction on the development would begin. 

“Multifamily development has changed a lot over the years,” Maniaci said. “This is going to be a development that is run by one property manager, managed by one company, and be a large apartment complex with a clubhouse, pool house and all of the amenities,” Maniaci said. “We don’t have any apartment complexes like this in Washington right now.”

The proposed plat shows that the development would extend Don Avenue from High Street to Pottery Road and include the construction of a new street, K.J. Unnerstall Drive that would go from Highway 100 to just south of the Presbyterian Church Cemetery. It is not shown as connecting into Pottery Road.

A proposed row of duplexes will be built on the south end of the development, Maniaci said. These duplexes will act as a buffer between the Terrace in Washington property and the homes on Meadow Lake Drive and Spring Valley Lane. 

Maniaci said he is excited to see this kind of development come to Washington. 

“I think it is going to open up some options to people who are interested in that type of living,” Maniaci said. “Just to reiterate that, with young professionals who are looking to start their careers but have some college debt, they need the chance to build some equity. We want housing options for everyone from people who are right out of college or trade schools or people getting to retirement ages. 

“For a long time, Washington only had homes that were out of reach for many young professionals or for people who are simply wanting to rent,” he continued. 

A lack of multifamily housing options has hindered Washington’s growth over the past decades, Maniaci said. In June, preliminary population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau showed Washington had grown by about 2 percent since 2010, Pacific by more than 3 percent and Union by 16.5 percent. Population estimates are not available for New Haven, St. Clair or other smaller communities.

Maniaci said the Terrace is not the only housing development that is moving closer to becoming reality. 

A potential housing development is also moving forward on East Fifth Street. More details about that development, which could include up to 52 housing units, were not immediately available.

“It is definitely exciting,” Maniaci said. “I think we all have a sense of pride in Washington, from those of us who work here to those of us who live here. We are very proud of this community and want to see it grow. Part of my job has been to recruit potential employers, help existing industries expand here, but it is also about helping grow our housing options.”

He continued, “I think the good thing is we’re seeing interest (in) single-family (housing) still continuing to rise as well as multifamily. And so I think we’re growing in the right direction in both regards.”

In August, the city issued four building permits for single-family homes. Including those issued in August, the city has issued 41 building permits this year for single-family homes.

This story has been updated. A previous version of this story misidentified the square footage of the individual apartments.