Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Prospect Lake apartments back on track for Clearwater

If all goes well, the project on a 6-acre parcel should begin to take shape by the end of the year. Prospect Real Estate Group will pay $2.5 million for the site; the city will bear significant costs.


If all goes well, the project on a 6-acre parcel should begin to take shape by the end of the year. Prospect Real Estate Group will pay $2.5 million for the site; the city will bear significant costs.

CLEARWATER — A long-stalled project gained fresh life this week as city officials approved a $30 million apartment complex on downtown's eastern edge.

Prospect Lake, a nearly 6-acre parcel, has been an elusive object of city officials' best-intended plans for 15 years. Several false starts have yielded only a modest town home development along Cleveland Street.

Last year, city council members selected an Orlando area developer, Prospect Real Estate Group, to build 257 high-end apartments as part of a plan to lure young tech workers already working downtown to put down roots.

"The goal is to create an urban community within walking distance to our commercial and social destination," Geri Lopez, the city's economic development and housing director, said on Monday.

In other words, pump energy into downtown.

The project hit an early bump a year ago when Mayor George Cretekos and other city officials said the Prospect Group hadn't told them about the criminal troubles of the former head of the firm, Richard Zahn, who had pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges in South Carolina.

Cretekos said Monday that his lone vote against the project last year was now moot.

"I really appreciate the work the team has done in going over that hump," Cretekos said. "We look forward to … a full complement of tenants and businesses at Prospect Lake."

Other issues have bogged down the project, originally slated to have already broken ground.

Prospect will pay $2.5 million for the site, but the city will shoulder significant costs.

• After initial site work turned up deposits of organic muck all over the property, the city agreed to credit $725,000 to the developer at closing.

• The city will also reimburse $700,000 to help attract commercial tenants, including a restaurant and retailers. The money will be paid in two installments pegged to the completion of the retail space.

• The city will also pay $250,000 to relocate utilities on the parcel.

• The city also expects to pay back about $250,000 to the federal government to settle an earlier grant for the property.

If all goes well, the project should begin to take shape by the end of the year.

Council member Jay Polglaze praised the developer's patience with the delays shortly before he and the four other council members unanimously approved the project.

"We're going as fast as we can so that we can get this out of the ground by Thanksgiving," he said.

Charlie Frago can be reached at or (727) 445-4159. Follow him on Twitter @CharlieFrago

Prospect Lake apartments back on track for Clearwater 06/05/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2014 12:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Jordan Spieth wins British Open (w/ video)


    SOUTHPORT, England — Someday, perhaps soon, there will be a plaque at Royal Birkdale for Jordan Spieth, much like the one off the 16th hole that celebrates Arnold Palmer and the 6-iron he slashed out of the rough in 1961 to win the British Open and usher in a new era of golf.

    Matt Kuchar plays out of the bunker on the 18th hole and finishes with bogey for 1-under 69. He had a one-shot lead after 13 holes.
  2. Fennelly: Brutal weekend could be start of something worse for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Well, that was lovely.

    Brad Boxberger suffers his second loss in the three-game series, this time by allowing back-to-back homers in the eighth inning when called on to protect a 5-3 lead. “Just bad pitches,” he says.
  3. Wesley Chapel hockey camp impresses youth players, parents

    Lightning Strikes

    WESLEY CHAPEL — As a 17-year-old Triple-A hockey player, MacCallum Brown regularly plays against elite talent. As a Palm Harbor resident, he often has to travel to face that talent.

  4. Rays claim not to be panicking after third straight brutal loss to Rangers (w/ video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — There was no "here we go again" moment in the dugout as Rougned Odor's two-run homer in the eighth inning arced across Tropicana Field and toward the rightfield seats, even though when it landed, the score was tied and another late-inning Rays lead was blown.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria heads back to the dugout after fouling out in the ninth inning with the potential tying run on first.
  5. White House signals acceptance of Russia sanctions bill


    WASHINGTON — The White House indicated Sunday that President Donald Trump would accept new legislation imposing sanctions on Russia and curtailing his authority to lift them on his own, a striking turnaround after a broad revolt in Congress by lawmakers of both parties who distrusted his friendly approach to …

    President Donald Trump’s ability to lift sanctions against Russia would be blocked.