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Mar 21, 2013 10:07 AM by Samantha Ptashkin

Armory Park Apartments getting new name and look, some neighbors not happy

TUCSON- After housing low-income seniors for four decades, the Armory Park Apartments are in the middle of a $4 million make-over that involves renovating the building and giving it a new name.

"We are changing the name to "The Herbert", after the street that runs on the east side of the building," Anne Lawrence says.

Lawrence works for Holualoa Companies, one of new owners of the property. Holualoa and Peach Properties acquired the building last December.

Once the eight-story property is renovated, it will offer one-bedroom and studio apartments. The studio apartments will be about 450 square feet. The one-bedrooms will be about 600 square feet.

Lawrence says the rent will run between $600 and $800 per month. "We're replacing all the cabinets, putting in new flooring and making them new and modern," Lawrence says.

One of the main attractions will be the big picture windows that offer scenic views of the city. "If you can imagine sitting on the top floor and watching a big monsoon storm come in, it would be pretty awesome," Lawrence says.

While developers aren't targeting a specific age group, they see big potential for the young urban crowd and empty nesters. "The retired person who wants to have a small space, participate in all the downtown events, ride the modern streetcar, or go up to the University of Arizona and take a few classes," Lawrence says.

But the idea of welcoming more than a hundred new residents in the historic Armory Park Neighborhood isn't sitting well with some residents. "I have mixed feelings about it," Randy Spalding says.

Spalding has lived in the neighborhood for more than three decades. He appreciates the renovations, but he's concerned about potential noise and traffic. He says a lot of the seniors who used to live there didn't use cars. "They don't have enough parking for their building and I think that's going to infringe upon the neighborhood," Spalding says.

Armory Park Board President John Burr tells News 4 Tucson they've been working with the new property owners and city leaders to come up with ideas to alleviate parking woes.

Residents are expected to move in to "The Herbert" as early as August.

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