LARGO — Largo’s redevelopment districts and activity centers continue to be hot spots for housing developers.
City commissioners agreed Sept. 21 to take steps toward development agreements for a pair of new apartment complexes.
The latest proposal to target the area is a 90-unit project at 614 Woodrow Ave., which is along Fourth Avenue Northwest and one block east of Clearwater-Largo Road.
Everest 614 Woodrow Ave LP intends to redevelop the vacant 3-acre parcel that was once a mobile home park into a multifamily complex with two apartment buildings consisting of a mix of one- and two-bedroom units.
According to a development agreement request sent to the city by Zev Shaposhnick, a manager of 614 Woodrow Ave LLC, Blue Skies Apartments will also include a swimming pool and clubhouse building containing leasing office, fitness center and small social area.
Since it’s in the city’s West Bay Drive Community Redevelopment District, the firm intends to capitalize on incentives that would allow it to increase from 45 to 90 units.
Therefore, it will dedicate at least 20 percent of the units to affordable housing and provide a “micro park area” at the northwest corner of the property.
Mayor Woody Brown and Vice Mayor Jamie Robinson were pleased with bringing more housing to the downtown area, but were concerned about fitting 90 apartments on the 3-acre property surrounded by single-family homes.
Robinson said he was comfortable with 45 units, but uncertain about 90 and needed to see the design before embracing the project.
“It seems like we’re putting a lot of stuff in a small area,” he said. “If they think it can fit, fantastic. But I definitely want to see it. And how does it fit into the neighborhood?”
Commissioners also wanted to make sure it fit into their vision for downtown, which will include a new mixed-use City Hall and housing development just blocks away.
Commissioner Michael Smith urged staff to push sustainability and connectivity when discussing building and design standards with the developer.
“We’re trying to make this a place where people can live and walk around,” he said.
The Clearwater-Largo Road area has seen several multifamily projects pop up in recent years. Also in the works is a plan to transform the Walter Moore Place apartments at 1030 Clearwater-Largo Road into a four-story housing complex with 88 units geared toward workforce housing.
Commissioners also moved forward on negotiations of a development agreement for a 96-unit affordable housing complex at 2075 Seminole Blvd.
Archway Partners plans to redevelop a vacant 4.79-acre property just north of Home Depot into an apartment complex of entirely affordable units.
Seminole Square Apartments, a part of which is within the Largo Mall Activity Center, will consist of 48 one-bedroom and 48 two-bedroom units.
“All of the units will be developed with the same high-quality standard regardless of the income level of the resident occupying the unit,” according to a letter to the city from Brett Green, president of Archway Partners.
Archway intends to seek out highly competitive state tax credits to help fund the $27.2 million development, and commissioners had previously agreed to contribute as much as $685,000 to help the firm secure the financing.
The Miami-area developer has also proposed constructing a 96-unit complex at 1250 Cleveland St. in Clearwater.
“I’m really pleased that both this and the last item were new higher-density housing in activity centers,” Brown said. “That’s the whole point of having the activity centers and allowing for higher density and preserve our neighborhoods.”