LARGO — As one new apartment complex on Clearwater-Largo Road opens, it appears another one just across the street is likely on the way.
A local developer intends to transform the Walter Moore Place apartments at 1030 Clearwater-Largo Road N. into a four-story housing complex with 88 units geared toward workforce housing.
Developer Gary Tave told city commissioners Nov. 17 that Grand Oaks Apartments will feature a mix of one- and two-bedroom units that range in size from 750 to 900 square feet.
They will include amenities such as granite countertops, energy star appliances, LED lighting, and a solar array on each building. But the project won’t include higher-end amenities like a swimming pool, business center, or dog park.
“Those outside-of-the-apartment amenities are going to be essentially nonexistent, but that’s where we can save the money to allow the rents to be towards the bottom end of the Class A scale,” he said, adding that those most rents will likely be $1,200 to $1,500.
Those rents, Tave said, are the lowest offered by the new Rosery Apartments complex across the street.
However, because the project is in the Clearwater-Largo Road Redevelopment District, Tave was also able to take advantage of an incentive that allows developers to increase the number of apartments they build if they set some aside for affordable housing.
Therefore, Tave agreed to set aside 17 units for those who qualify. The move, after being approved by city commissioners Nov. 17, allowed the project to grow by more than 50 units.
“I think it’s a wonderful project,” newly sworn-in Commissioner Eric Gerard said. “I think we need more affordable housing. I think it would be a great boon to the Clearwater-Largo Road corridor.”
Commissioner Michael Smith endorsed the project but did express a concern, asking Tave about his financing of the project.
Smith was referencing another of Tave’s projects, West Bay Lofts on West Bay Drive. The $48 million mixed-use project stalled because of problems securing financing.
Tave said he understood the reason for the concern, but that a local credit union has already agreed to the construction financing, and he anticipates closing the loan before the new year.
He added that this complex was much different than the one on West Bay Drive.
“You’ll notice that this site is relatively small,” he said, referring to the 2.3-acre property. “It’s a plain vanilla project unlike a lot of the other new construction that’s Class A plus, plus with lots of bells and whistles.”
He said construction bids are already in and a neighborhood information meeting is scheduled for Dec. 2.
“I’m intending to be off and running, turning dirt by the end of March of next year,” he said.