GREAT BARRINGTON — The neighbors might be unhappy — at least for a time. But people combing the area for a new and efficient rental apartment will rejoice.

The Select Board on Monday unanimously approved a three-building, 47-unit complex on Manville Street, which straddles downtown and the Big Y supermarket.

Local developer Ian Rasch of Framework Properties said he and partner Sam Nickerson hope to begin work on the $15 million project in early spring and complete it within 14 months, with units ready by summer of 2020.

Manville Place is also intended to fill a price gap in the local housing market between low-income to high-end market rates. The units will range from around $1,600 to $1,800 per month for a one-, two- or three-bedroom.

"We get a lot of calls from employers who are having issues trying to attract people because housing costs are so high and people are living in Pittsfield and commuting 30 to 40 minutes," Rasch said.

Rasch and Nickerson announced the plans in the spring and by summer, the current residents of what is a quiet, dead-end residential street began to worry about traffic and other possible changes to the neighborhood.

The street, which has other, smaller rental buildings, sits in an area of town that was zoned last year to protect it from larger commercial activity like big-box stores.

Local housing advocates supported the project, saying the area, with little middle range between expensive homes and decrepit rental stock, also needs this price point and quality.

But residents of Manville Street said more cars would cause big problems, and they didn't trust the findings of a traffic consultant who said the situation was workable.

The roughly 2-acre complex will also have a common green space, and one commercial unit likely to house something like a yoga studio and a small coffee shop, Rasch said, noting he and Nickerson would first find out what people want.

The developers, who recently completed 47 Railroad, a 13-unit high-end rental and commercial project downtown, will start leasing sometime before construction is complete.

Rasch said he and Nickerson plan to never sell the development, and thus always be in control of how it operates. He also said the new apartments are not just about new housing.

"It's really an economic development project for us because it allows people to live and work in town," he said. "I hope that some of the people upset on Manville, once its done, can see the longer term value."

But for some right now, it's hard to see.

"I'm concerned about traffic that dwarfs ... the surrounding area and completely changes the character of the street," resident Ivan Kruh told the board before their vote.

Heather Bellow can be reached at or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.