The man-made lake, which turned away possible business tenants, proves to be a selling point for an apartment developer.
By SHANNON TAN
Published February 4, 2004
LARGO - The property next to the ICOT Center has remained vacant for years.
A large, man-made lake in the middle of the site rendered it unsuitable for large industrial or office development. ICOT Center officials had difficulty marketing the land to businesses.
But the lake turned out to be an added bonus for an Atlanta-based developer who intends to build 288 luxury apartments on the northwest corner of 58th Street N and 142nd Avenue N.
"We think the site is going to be a pretty attractive site," said Charles Barrus, development associate at Wood Partners' Winter Park office. "The lake is going to be a nice amenity."
The apartment buildings will be built around the 22-acre lake. The development, which will be known as Alta Largo, would consist of one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with rents ranging from $725 to $1,425 a month. Amenities include a pool, volleyball court, clubhouse, exercise facility, business center and media center.
The gated complex would cater to people who work at the ICOT Center or nearby office parks, Barrus said.
Wood Partners plans to purchase the property from the ICOT Center and build the development. Construction is expected to start in June and will take about 10 months.
Wood Partners also has apartment complexes in Orlando, Texas, Atlanta, North Carolina and Virginia.
Barrus declined to say what the purchase price for the 40-acre site would be, but the property has been assessed by the county for tax purposes at more than $2-million.
The site plans are currently being reviewed by the city. City commissioners on Tuesday approved voiding a utility easement and a portion of a drainage and utility easement that would allow the property to be developed.
City and county commissioners agreed to land-use changes last year that would allow residential housing on the site.
Another developer also plans to break ground on a apartment complex in Largo in the next month or so. The 180-unit complex at the corner of Ponce De Leon Boulevard and Clearwater-Largo Road will cater to low- to moderate-income residents.
"Apparently a lot of people are moving into Largo," said Mayor Bob Jackson.
Also on Tuesday, commissioners passed a resolution to let Tampa Bay Community Development Corporation administer the city's down payment assistance program, Sold on Largo. The commission also agreed to prioritize new applications to the city's housing rehabilitation program.
The program provides loans for low- to moderate-income homeowners wanting to fix up their homes. Under the new changes, emergency repairs such as a leaking roof would get priority over an addition to an overcrowded home.