Todd Tober will build Akron’s next high-rise apartment building in a factory.

The developer behind Stoney Pointe Commons and the new headquarters for AAA Akron Auto Club has launched ToVee LLC., an Akron-based manufacturing plant that uses the efficiency of indoor assembly lines to crank out building units that can be put together on job sites to build multistory structures. With labor costs on the rise and the weather reliably unpredictable, Tober said his new company will build 30 percent faster with up to 10 percent fewer hard-hat wearing workers.

His proof of concept will be his first endeavor: The One Twenty at 120 S. Hawkins Ave., a proposed 152-unit apartment building that will cover the northwest corner at Hawkins and Alden avenues.

This eight-story undertaking in Wallhaven will feature a sleek, modern design with a street-level row of windowed storefronts, underground parking, attached town homes and six stories of luxury studio and bedroom apartments.

In all, the mix of retail and living space will cover a 30,265-square-foot slice of a 4.5-acre vacant and often muddy lot about a block south of where West Exchange Street, West Market Street and Hawkins Avenue converge. The flat-roofed building will feature earth-tone, pre-fabricated metal panels and a wood-and-brick-veneer finish. A wall of windows will set off the property’s storefronts along Hawkins. Mixed throughout the architecture are “bands of pre-cast concrete, metal mesh railings, cantilevered metal canopies and roof overhangs,” according to planning documents submitted to the city.

But what makes this project unique is Tober’s ability to work speedily without weather as a factor, then transport his modular units to be stacked up to eight stories high on site. Tober wouldn’t say how much the project costs; construction is scheduled for the spring. When completed, the one-bedroom units will rent for $1,200 to $1,300 a month and the two-bedroom apartments for $1,400 to $1,500.

The developer, who also owns Tober Building Co. in Richfield, said his new Akron company has been fine-tuning prototypes for this build for the past eight months in a space on Gilchrist Road. With three potential locations in Akron, Tober has yet to pick a permanent home for his “state of the art, temperature-controlled, indoor production facility.”

Tober holds an option to purchase 120 S. Hawkins Ave. from its current owner, a self-directed individual retirement account for a Cleveland Heights resident. The land has been empty for decades. It was cleared of trees more than 10 years ago, but the development that typically follows never did.

The layout

The longer side of the L-shaped building will face Hawkins and feature ground-level, build-to-suit storefronts with 25 angled parking spaces, plus seven spots on the street. Pedestrians passing by will be sucked in along a 20-foot-wide sidewalk, which the businesses might use for outdoor seating.

The southern face of the building along Alden Avenue will feature eight two-story, two-bedroom residential town homes. The top six floors hold seven studio, 42 two-bedroom and 95 one-bedroom apartments.

The site plan calls for access-controlled entrances on either side. Entering off Alden Avenue, an immediate right turn would take residents to a 58-unit underground parking garage. Above ground, another 18 spots are attached to the building and out of the weather. In the northwest corner, bordered by condominiums at Village Pointe East and apartments at The Woods of Fairlawn, about half the 4.5 acre development is a 132-space paved parking lot.

The city expects to see a stormwater management plan before construction begins.

All told, the development provides 237 on-site parking spots and another 11 on the street, or 40 shy of what the city’s zoning code says is needed for that many businesses and apartments. With “low-impact, low traffic-generating” retail tenants expected to operate during normal business hours, Tober will ask the Akron Planning Commission for an exception.

His plans will be on display at a 9 a.m. public hearing Friday before the commission on the third floor of City Hall, 166 S. High St. The proposed development’s residential portion would be eligible for Akron’s 15-year property tax abatement. Mayor Dan Horrigan’s planning department, which is considering a crosswalk on Hawkins Avenue to complement the project, is recommending approval for the “modern, attractive development.”

Reach Doug Livingston at 330-996-3792 or dlivingston@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him @ABJDoug on Twitter or www.facebook.com/doug.livingston.92 on Facebook.