Proposed apartment complex runs into opposition

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN TV) - The Copper Ridge Apartments off of Mount Rushmore Road have been around for a few years. But an idea to build similar apartments near National American University is stirring up controversy.

Samuelson Development wants to build five separate four-story apartments near the intersection of Fox Road and Highway 16. With Rapid City continuing to grow, the developer wanted to create more apartments with amenities that millennials would love, but with elevator access for the elderly community.

One Rapid City resident says the City has to keep something in mind.

"Preserve the beauty of the hills and the vision of both the Mount Rushmore group and the city itself with this land being part of the gateway to the Black Hills; it's gonna obstruct the views of the hills also," says Jeffrey Bendt.

But the developer says there was a building there before.

"There was already a building that was there that's been demolished so the views were already blocked before. But ultimately it's more about the people I guess that want to live there to see it all the time. Our Copper Ridge projects that's right here on the hill ... we always say you get a million-dollar view for the price of affordable housing," says Samuelson Development vice president John Samuelson.

Bendt says he fears these apartments will also cause traffic problems. But Samuelson says there will be a few more points of access with these apartments compared to Copper Ridge, alleviating traffic buildup.

The City and Samuelson Development are discussing a compromise for the project.