Construction to begin on Gateway apartment complex

PINELLAS PARK — Construction is set to begin on an upscale apartment complex in the Gateway Centre.

The complex will be built on about 39 acres formerly owned by Hardy Huntley's Gateway LLC. Huntley sold the land in October to Apartments at Gateway of West Palm Beach for about $8.64 million, according to Pinellas property appraiser records. Apartments at Gateway is a corporation registered in Delaware whose registered agent is the Richman Group of Florida, according to state corporate records.

The Richman Group is one of the nation's largest developers, with developments in 49 states and three U.S. territories. The company's website, therichmangroup.com, notes that construction will start on Phase 1 of the Spa and Residences of Gateway Centre this spring. A notice of commencement filed last week with the Pinellas clerk of court indicates construction will include 320 apartments in 10 buildings, a clubhouse, seven six-bay garages, a dog park, a swimming pool, spa and two tennis courts.

It will be at 3115 Grand Ave., next to the Sunset Palms Mobile Home Park, Dew Cadillac and the new Wawa gas and convenience store, all of which front Gandy Boulevard.

The land is part of a 700-plus-acre industrial and business park that was laid out and outfitted with roads and utilities in the late 1980s by Lomas & Nettleton, a Texas mortgage giant that went out of business. The last owner, Hardy Huntley, who is best known as the owner of the Wagon Wheel Flea Market, bought about 185 acres of the Gateway Centre in 2009 from lenders who had taken it back from local developer Grady Pridgen.

Huntley went before the Pinellas Park City Council in October 2011 to get a zoning change for the property because the Gateway Centre's original plans had no space for residential development.

At that point, Douglas Partners of Winter Park planned to buy the acreage and build an upscale apartment complex with 432 units. It was to be called the Douglas Grand Gateway.

It is unclear why that deal failed.

"It just fell through," said Peter Creighton, Huntley's spokesman. "That happens."

Last year, Richman bought the property. Company officials could not be reached for comment.

Richman already has projects in the Tampa Bay area. Among them is the 108-unit Amalfi, which opened in February in Clearwater. It also developed the 144-unit Bayside Court in Clearwater and the 156-unit Booker Creek apartment complex in St. Petersburg. Richman has also built, or is constructing, complexes in Tampa and Zephyrhills.

Anne Lindberg can be reached at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Construction to begin on Gateway apartment complex 04/23/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 23, 2013 3:25pm]

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