After almost 11 months of interior and exterior work, the Norby Flats apartments on Washington Avenue will welcome tenants on Jan. 1.

The first-floor stores aren't ready yet, but a brewery and five other possible businesses will be added there eventually.

"They're all very unique with exposed brick," Jim Buus said of the apartments. Buus is the president of JBC Commercial Realty -- one of the companies working on the flats. "No floor plan is the same. We really get a lot of good feedback when we walk people through there."

Guests had positive comments at a Wednesday, Dec. 18, invitation-only walk-through tour for the media, real state agents and others. Buus showed guests the original tin ceilings and hardwood floors, the restored brick throughout the stores and apartments, the high ceilings in the apartments and much more.

Two apartments were shown, one furnished and one not. There are 13 apartments total -- eight single-bedrooms, four two-bedrooms, one efficiency, and two handicap options, right next to the blue elevator. Each apartment has in-unit laundry, stainless steel appliances and central air.

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In some of the two-bedroom apartments, the bedrooms are connected by a closet on both sides and a bathroom in the middle. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)
In some of the two-bedroom apartments, the bedrooms are connected by a closet on both sides and a bathroom in the middle. (Vicki Gerdes / Tribune)

Monthly rent prices range from $700 to $1050 for the efficiency and single-bedrooms and $1150 to $1800 for the two-bedrooms, Buus said. If tenants want to keep the existing furnishings, it's an extra $200 in rent.

Parking for tenants is by the Detroit Lakes Police Station, shared between them and the strip mall on the Veteran's Memorial Parkway strip mall. Buus hopes to add a parking garage nearby within the next few years.

First-floor businesses

Guests of the walk-through were also shown the six possible stores inside the first floor of the flats; one inside the building not facing Washington Avenue and five with storefronts on Washington Avenue. They are all connected by a hallway, which is where the bathrooms will be located too.

One of those commercial tenants will be a brewery, Buus said. He wouldn't divulge who would own it or what products they'd offer, saying that he leaves it to his clients to present that information.

The other five, and the sizes of them, are still being negotiated between Buus and the interested businesses, none of which are retail. As negotiations are still underway, the size of each store is still to-be-determined as one business could choose to take up two or more storefronts. This is why the stores aren't opening at the same time the apartments are.

"The biggest challenge has been fixing the storefronts ... and putting the windows back in," Buus said.

Those big windows are what have been covered by the construction equipment and plastic wrapping for the past few months. Buus is hoping that the windows will be highly used by the new businesses in there, filled with decorations or store items, anything that makes them noticeable, he said.

More information

To apply to live in the apartments, visit or call 701-306-2220.