By Sheryl Jensen
Central Flats is P&R Properties’ Newest Apartment Complex, Designed to Provide More Housing Options as well as On-Site Retail Space
Peter Pavlovich and Ryan Nelson, the owners of P&R Properties Twin Ports LLC, have been on a mission to provide high-quality apartment units with affordable rents – both in renovated and new buildings – to help ease the critical area housing shortage.
They noted that they’ve worked hard to provide attractive apartment rentals for tenants on both sides of the bridge in Superior and Duluth since 2012. And it’s been their dedicated goal to provide properties in the Twin Ports region that their tenants can be proud to call home.
“What sets P&R Properties apart is our customer service,” Pavlovich said. “We care about our people and our area and have a team that is personable and attentive. We treat our tenants like family, and we go above and beyond to meet their needs.”
P&R Properties evolved from P&R Plumbing and Heating, the company Pavlovich and Nelson founded in 2010. That division continues to employ union tradespeople from throughout the area to work on a variety of plumbing and HVAC projects for apartment buildings in the Twin Ports such as ENDI, Capstone, BlueStone Flats and many others.
“This is really our flagship project in Superior with our
best systems and practices in place. We are also happy to
offer affordable units.”
– P&R Properties Co-owner Peter Pavlovich
As Pavlovich and Nelson started moving into the housing sector, they began renovating a few homes, duplexes and smaller apartment buildings. They built their first new building in Superior in 2017 with the 24-unit Village Apartments at 6712 Tower Ave., which is close to downtown, Lake Superior and the Nemadji River.
Next came Onyx, a luxury 54-unit apartment complex at 1301 Weeks Ave. in the heart of Superior, just minutes away from Lake Superior and blocks from downtown Superior. That building opened in July 2018.
In August of 2019, they opened the doors at 320 North, a luxury 89-unit complex on F Street just a short walk from Barker’s Island and Lake Superior, where some of the units’ tenants enjoy a Lake Superior view.
And in October of 2019, they broke ground for their latest project – the 130-unit Central Flats building. As the name implies, it’s centrally located in Superior at 1001 Belknap St. on a three-acre lot. The first tenants began moving into the building in late November. According to P&R Properties Marketing Manager Erin Makela, the building is almost fully occupied, since only one unit remains.
Central Flats is a mixed-use building featuring 12 different apartment floor plans, including 40 studio apartments, 64 one-bedroom apartments, 23 two-bedroom apartments and three units that have three bedrooms. In addition, Central Flats has six retail spaces. Since it’s the company’s largest building project to date, P&R Properties has added to what it learned through all its other projects, including more building amenities. “With some of the units being smaller, we wanted to allow people more places to get out and enjoy the building’s many amenities and community spaces,” Nelson noted.
This five-story complex utilizes the first floor for the yet-to-be-leased retail space and the indoor garage. The remainder of the building and grounds includes four floors of apartments and community spaces.
The 24/7 state-of-the-art fitness center and virtual fitness room
feature … bikes, a stair stepper, treadmill, free weights [and more].
“This is really our flagship project in Superior with our best systems and practices in place. We are also happy to offer affordable units,” said Pavlovich. “We know that many people are wanting to simplify now, so our smaller units are appealing for many people.”
It’s built on the site of the former Superior Central High School, which has national historical significance as the “Nation’s Summer Capitol” of President Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Central Flats is also just two blocks from the University of Wisconsin-Superior Campus and three blocks from the Superior Business Center (the business incubator facility serving Superior and Douglas County, located at 1423 N. Eighth St.). And there are four churches within two blocks (Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran and Methodist). The building’s location also provides convenient access to nearby bus lines.
In addition, it’s close to a number of casual dining restaurants, just a mile from a Super One Foods grocery store and right across the street from a Kwik Trip store.
Recreation areas nearby include the Barker’s Island Marina and community beach, Superior Municipal Forest hiking and bike trails and Wisconsin Point. Pattison State Park and Amnicon Falls State Park are within a short driving distance from Central Flats.
Two elementary schools, the Superior Middle School and Superior High School are also nearby.
Prices range from studios beginning at $815 per month and up to $2,850 per month for the three-bedroom units.
“Being on the main drag means easy access to so many places, and it’s easily accessible to thehighway and the bridges to Duluth.”
– P&R Properties Marketing Manager Erin Makela
The building has noise-proof design and energy-efficient systems to provide tenants a quiet and efficient home to enjoy. The units’ features include:
- Private balconies (in most units)
- Modern kitchens with energy-efficient
stainless steel appliances (Whirlpool)
- Basic cable
- High-speed internet
- Laminate wood flooring
- Hardwood cabinets
- Granite countertops
- Ample storage spaces
- Carpeted bedrooms
- Modern fixtures
- Stackable washers and dryers (Frigidaire),
most in separate in-unit laundry rooms
- Walk-in closets
- Energy efficient air conditioning
- Tenant portal to pay rent, request maintenance
- Secured entry with key scans
- Dedicated mail/parcel room
Makela noted that people are impressed by the closet and storage space within the units: “One little boy, who was touring with his family, walked into one of the closets and said, ‘This can be my room.’”
The building is also pet friendly (one per unit) with a nonrefundable $250 fee and a monthly pet rent fee of $20.
Landscaping, snow removal and maintenance requests are handled by P&R’s property staff, and an on-site property manager is available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Parking is available for tenants, with 89 spaces in the surface lot behind the building, or a space can be reserved in the heaated, indoor parking garage for $80 per month. A pet spa and indoor bike storage are also accessible in the heated garage area.
The building also includes a number of great amenities and community spaces. The 24/7 state-of-the-art fitness center and virtual fitness room feature exercise bikes, a stair stepper, treadmill, mirrors, free weights and virtual classes.
“We’re excited about the retail space and have had interest from some businesses … We would love to see a coffee shop and some
kind of restaurant come in.”
– P&R Properties Co-owner Ryan Nelson
A conference room is available (by reservation) for hosting virtual gatherings or business meetings in a beautifully decorated space, and it will eventually be available for in-person gatherings. A separate community room can be reserved for entertaining and events like bridal showers, holiday parties, sports watching and other private gatherings. The community room includes a full kitchen, comfortable furniture, fireplace and a television.
The club room is open to all tenants and their guests and has a pool table, shuffleboard, video games, full kitchen, card tables and leads to an outdoor deck. The center courtyard, located on the top of the first floor, has outdoor seating, grills and communal spaces for outdoor entertaining.
The library/tech room offers books, computers, printers, a fax machine, games and puzzles. One coffee bar is located in the library and another in the main lobby.
“Though there has been interest from families, we do not currently have any families with young children at Central Flats,” Makela said. “We do have a mix of residents, however, from 20-year-olds to 90 and a variety of ages in between.”
“Central Flats is a great value for the community. Our apartments have a price point that is in the mid-range of the comparable units in the Twin Ports.”
– P&R Properties Manager Megan Holsclaw
Two of the building’s new residents are University of Wisconsin-Superior students who chose one of the studio apartments – Lexy Doolittle and Christian Quadros. They moved into the building in early December.
“We liked the location just across from UWS,” said Quadros, a pre-med student. “And we loved the modern look, amenities and common spaces. Even though we have a studio apartment, the kitchen is spacious, with lots of cupboard space and nice features like the marble countertops. We love that this is a luxury unit and building – without us paying a luxury price.”
Doolittle, who grew up in Superior and is studying to be a veterinarian, said, “We really feel like we are in the middle of Superior, with easy access to everything. I especially like the amenities and the view of Duluth from our fifth-floor unit. And our studio apartment feels surprisingly big.”
The mixed-use aspect of Central Flats adds another dimension for tenants and for other nearby residents and businesses, too. The total of 10,750 square feet of flexible, ground-level retail space includes six suites ranging from 1,300 square feet to 1,980 square feet, with two potential restaurant suites tentatively set at 1,350 square feet and 2,700 square feet. The site has accommodations for a drive-through window located on the west side of the building.
“While it’s been hard to bring in commercial real estate now, we look forward to restaurants, businesses and service companies filling the retail space,” said Makela.
“We’re excited about the retail space and have had interest from some businesses. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the retail side of the building has been harder to get going with some traction,” Nelson added. “But we expect that to pick up in the new year. We would love to see a coffee shop and some kind of restaurant come in. We are starting to get more interest and the prospects look good.”
“We love that this is a luxury unit and building – without us paying a luxury price.”
– Tenant Christian Quadros
“Central Flats is a great value for the community. Our apartments have a price point that is in the mid-range of the comparable units in the Twin Ports,” said P&R Properties Manager Megan Holsclaw. “It is a beautiful building with amenities that make urban living very enjoyable. The City of Superior has truly been wonderful to work with in bringing this quality complex to the people of the community.”
“Central Flats is unlike any other property in the Twin Ports, while still staying in the center of rental rates. Its location, right in the middle of Superior, is great for people who work in the area,” Makela added. “Being on the main drag means easy access to so many places, and it’s easily accessible to the highway and the bridges to Duluth.”
“I think with Central Flats, we have really stepped up our game. I am proud of the exterior look of the building and the beautiful interior finishings,” said Pavlovich. “We are already getting such positive feedback from the tenants who love the building and our management team. And we had so many units rented before we even opened the doors.”
The “P&R guys” are not, however, resting on their laurels. They are hard at work on Aery, a 147-unit apartment home complex located on the corner of Ugstad Road and Highway 53 in Hermantown, Minnesota. The location is within walking distance of the Hermantown schools and Essentia YMCA Wellness Center, and it’s only a few miles from the industries located near the Duluth International Airport.
Aery also offers spacious studio apartments as well as one-, two- and three-bedroom floor plans with amenities and features similar to those at Central Flats. The building is scheduled to open in the fall of 2021.
“We really feel like we are in the middle of Superior, with
easy access to everything.”
– Tenant Lexy Doolittle
“We have been so successful in Superior,” Pavlovich said. “We are excited to come to Hermantown, which has not added any buildings on this level for quite a few years. We are testing the waters in Hermantown and hope we’re creating the model for future construction.” He lives in Hermantown, so he’s excited to see this project going up so close to home.
Also upcoming for P&R Properties is a building in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood. “We are looking at having smaller units in the Lincoln Park building to keep the rents down and more affordable, keeping at market rate,” Pavlovich noted. “We have a passion for providing buildings that fit where people live and work.”
Pavlovich and Nelson also started P&R Contracting in 2019 as part of their company’s umbrella of services. “We are in control, being our own contractors on our projects,” said Nelson.
“To be able to control our own schedules, set our own expectations and look to the buildings we want to build – where and when – is just where we want to be for our company right now,” Pavlovich said. The two co-owners are proud of their ongoing commitment to the communities where they live and work. And they’re also proud that they have built (and will keep building) a lasting legacy with their beautiful buildings. P&R Properties’ current diverse portfolio of properties will only continue to grow as they look for new sites to bring great living options for the region’s people and businesses. PS
Sheryl Jensen is a Twin Ports-based freelance writer.