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Affordable apartments on the way in Spring Hill

SPRING HILL — Dozers and other earthmovers appear to be scraping up enough sand to build a pyramid on Northcliffe Boulevard, just west of Mariner Boulevard. With no informational sign on the property, many have wondered: What's being built?

The answer: Seven residential buildings of two and three stories, consisting of a total of 160 two- and three-bedroom apartments, will rise on the 10-acre site, said Damon Kolb, development associate with Lamson Avenue Apartments Ltd. in West Palm Beach.

"We hope to have the first building ready by the fourth quarter this year," Kolb said. The complex will be known as Mariner's Cay.

The apartments, up to 24 per building, will be reasonably priced, Kolb said.

"We think there is still a market for affordable apartments. Affordable apartments for people who work in service industries has been underserved," he said.

The state apparently agrees. The Florida Housing Finance Corp. is providing the developers with an incentive loan of $4.7 million and is granting tax credits for low-income housing: $860,000 for each of 10 years.

"We think this is an excellent location, (near) what people would want: shopping, education and employment opportunities," Kolb said.

The complex will include a 4,000-square-foot clubhouse with swimming pool, fitness center and business center, plus an outdoor picnic pavilion. Also part of the plan is a car care facility — a covered trellis under which residents can vacuum and wash their vehicles.

At least 5 percent of the total project will be devoted to preservation of natural vegetation. Existing trees will not be disturbed.

The development entity, Richman Group of Florida, of which Lamson Ltd. is a part, previously built Brook Haven apartments in Brooksville and the Spring Haven apartments in Spring Hill.

Apartments aren't the only construction going on at the busy Northcliffe and Mariner intersection, which was designated as the town center in the original plans for Spring Hill in the 1960s.

At Mariner Commons on Mariner Boulevard, construction is nearing completion on a building to be leased to Walgreens and a shell unit that will be known as Shoppes at Mariner.

Walgreens, a 14,550-square-foot facility, is expected to open in two months, said Dan Halbertson of Mariner Commons LLC of Aventura.

The shell unit, at 8,009 square feet, already has signed up as tenants a bank and an urgent care center, Halbertson said. Some 2,400 square feet remain available for retail shops. Also, Halbertson said an outparcel site has been prepared with a pad on which to construct a building of up to 3,200 square feet.

Beth Gray can be reached at graybethn@earthlink.net.

7 Number of residential buildings to be constructed on the 10-acre site.

24 Maximum number of apartment units each building will contain.

160 Total number of 2- and 3-bedroom apartments in the buildings.

$4.7M Amount of the incentive loan that Florida Housing Finance Corp. is providing to the developers.

Affordable apartments on the way in Spring Hill 03/01/09 [Last modified: Sunday, March 1, 2009 7:54pm]
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