Friday, December 15, 2017
News Roundup

New Port Richey seals Main Street Landing deal

NEW PORT RICHEY — The city has reached a long-elusive deal with the developer of Main Street Landing to get construction going again on the property.

In 2004, the city first approved Main Street Landing — located just east of U.S. 19 on Main Street — as a mixed-use residential and commercial development location. It is located along the key downtown corridor on the city's waterfront and was considered, at the time, one of the cornerstones of the city's fledgling redevelopment effort and the first significant private-sector investment in downtown.

Construction, however, ground to a halt amid the real estate bust, and the agreement with the city expired.

During a meeting Tuesday night, the City Council approved a new development agreement with Gainesville developer Ken McGurn after years of the project sitting as a vacant shell.

As part of the agreement, the developer will complete up to 93 residential units on the property, with an option for ground-floor commercial space down the road; provide a $5 million performance bond; and invest a minimum of $8 million in capital improvements, according to city documents.

Projections are for the units to be upscale, with granite-like countertops, hurricane-force windows, LED lights, washer and dryer, Internet and ceramic or porcelain tile floors. The complex also is slated for covered parking and a pool.

In exchange, the city has pledged to kick in more than $1.7 million in incentives to get the project going again. That includes a payment of more than $1.4 million upon the developer obtaining a certificate of occupancy on 90 percent of the units within 3½ years. The city also will give $256,240 in water and sewer credits and wave $43,000 in permit fees. New Port Richey also will pay for construction of a $118,793 seawall at the property, according to the agreement.

Even with the incentives, projections show a net gain to the city coffers from future property tax payments in the latter years of the citywide community redevelopment district, which expires in 2032.

The project will be marketed as rental units, but City Council members said they hope the three-building complex eventually will become condominiums.

City Council members expressed excitement that construction on the project will start back up.

"Timing is everything, and it just seems like the timing is right," said City Council member Judy DeBella Thomas.

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