Tommy Lancaster’s restaurant and nearby Market Boy grocery sat on Market Street in New Albany for generations. The restaurant closed in 2011 and had been empty ever since. The Tommy Lancaster and Market Boy buildings were torn down last year.

But more than $3 million could soon transform the property into something city leaders say the city has never seen before.

Paul Barber, Progressive Land Development partner, said his company plans to build a 50-unit micro-loft apartment complex called the Lancaster Lofts.

“Think about it as the tiny house movement brought to apartment living,” he said.

The early plans show the units are only about 300 square feet. The bed sits in a loft on top of the kitchen in some renderings. Barber said the goal is to get young people living close to downtown for an affordable price, between $500 and $900 per month.

“20-somethings into their 30s,” Barber said in reference to the expected residents. “They're late getting married. They haven't accumulated a lot of things. They don't want a lot of space. We've done a market analysis here. We feel like there is a price point that is not being met for millennial.”

Retail is planned for the first floor, which will traffic close to downtown, the greenway and the Second Street Bridge.

“It just has a whole ton of potential,” Barber said.

The project will start in September and will take about a year to complete.

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