Phillips School Lofts

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About Phillips School Lofts

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Two former school buildings in Fort Dodge will become home to more than 100 apartments within the next three years.

Foutch Brothers LLC, of Kansas City, Missouri, have plans to restore the Fair Oaks and Phillips school buildings.

The firm took ownership of the two schools in 2013 after gaining approval from the Fort Dodge Community School District.

By the end of 2018, Phillips, 1015 Fifth Ave. N., will be complete, according to Shawn Foutch, director and owner of Foutch Brothers.

“We have done demolition and removal of materials, and we are just about ready for our building permit to start actually building back into the structure,” Foutch said.

The old school will house 73 apartments when finished, according to Foutch.

“The apartments will range from studio apartments, one bedroom, two bedroom, some three bedroom,” Foutch said.

The complex will also feature some indoor parking.

“Most of our parking is outside,” Foutch said. “We have maybe a dozen or so that will be inside in one area. We are trying to make the best use of the space we can. It’s a small part of the total.”

The school’s auditorium will be refurbished and used as a community events center.

“At the Phillips school, we are keeping the big auditorium for a community amenity, so it will be cleaned up and fixed up and made available for any community events that want to use that space.”

Rent at the apartments will range from $800 a month to $1,500 a month depending on size.

“The large ones are really huge, so that’s why they command that high of a rent,” Foutch said. “The average rent is somewhere in the $900-a-month range.”

Foutch said those rates will include utilities.

December 2018 is the projected opening of the complex.

The Fair Oaks school, located at 416 S. 10th St., will undergo similar changes, according to Foutch.

The school is being used to house Duncombe Elementary students until the new Duncombe Elementary is completed.

The new school, located at 615 N. 16th St., is on schedule to be finished by December.

Foutch said the FDCSD can use Fair Oaks for its Duncombe students until the end of the upcoming school year.

“We committed to not only let them stay through Christmas, but through the end of the school year,” Foutch said. “I would anticipate it will sit empty for a while after they are out. Hopefully less than a year.”

Foutch said the plans are for the Fair Oaks school to be converted into apartments tailored to senior citizens.

“We are not completely set on that yet, but that’s what we have in mind,” he said.

Between 65 and 70 apartments are planned for the space.

Foutch said both apartment buildings will feature a community meeting area and exercise space.

He estimated the completion of the Fair Oaks apartments by the end of 2020.

Similar projects have been taken on and completed by Foutch around the state.

Most recently, a school building in Algona was converted into an apartment, he said.

“We just finished a school renovation project in Algona,” he said. “It’s a little smaller. We just finished it this last month. It has 39 units that are now available and it’s probably a third full now.”

He said similar projects are underway in Storm Lake.

Foutch said the company is looking into additional housing options in the Fort Dodge area.

“We are looking for another project in the Fort Dodge area,” he said. “We have some ideas, but nothing committed yet. We are interested in a way to build more housing in Fort Dodge, potentially in the next two years. It’s pretty clear there is a need there.”

1015 Avenue North, Fort Dodge, Iowa 50501
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