Vector Cos. knew apartments from the management side, but since 1975 the company had developed retail property and mid-rise office buildings.

When President Brenda Dill read about Enid’s need for multifamily housing, she saw an opportunity. In 2013, a housing study by CDS Market Research concluded the area needed 400 more rental units.

Two years later, Vector broke ground on the 200-unit Esplanade at Stonebridge apartment complex. The complex’s first housing building opened in June 2016. The complex is nearly 70 percent occupied now.

“If we opened a little earlier, that would be higher,” Dill said. “By August, we should be up to 95 percent. We brought something to Enid that they really needed.”

The units have granite countertops, double-door refrigerators, walk-in closets, and other Class-A-level comforts.

Dill was able to use her company’s management experience to make sure the property had high-level common area amenities such as a pool with a fireplace, barbecue grills, a dog park, door-to-door trash pickup, a fitness center, and a car wash station. There’s also a business center.

The management work also helped on the construction side, she said.

“When you are managing a property, and you’re on the front lines taking all the tenant maintenance requests, you take all that information,” she said. “We heard about how tenants need more insulation because people complain about being able to hear their neighbors. We heard about the maintenance that comes with wood-sided buildings. We tried to listen to what they really like in their homes.”

The complex has helped spur more development near N. Cleveland Street and W. Chestnut Avenue, said Brent Kisling, executive director of the Enid Regional Development Alliance. A sidewalk connects residents to the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market and a shopping center with locally owned tenants. Both of those projects were there before the apartment complex, but developers are eyeing that area, which also has new single-family homes.

Kisling said the city’s trail system will soon head that way and the intersection will be improved. He said it’s the third-highest retail sales corridor, with Owen K. Garriott Road as the leader.

Along with other multifamily projects, Kisling said the 400-unit gap is now filled.

Dill said she’s eying other communities for the company’s next apartment project. But don’t expect her to build in a major metro, she said.

“We’re always looking for another Enid,” she said. “I like to find communities where we are providing a necessary and needed component to their housing, versus where everyone else is playing ball.”

Story by:  Journal Record’s Molly Fleming