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Developer hopes town homes will appeal to young residents

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Tampa Bay Business Journal by Ken Salgat, Staff writer Date: Monday, December 15, 2003, 12:00am EST

CLEARWATER — Developer Clearwater Village LC plans to redevelop an entire city block into 2-story town homes.

The $10-million, 3.5-acre project called New York Lofts will face Laura Street and Grove Street and will be fully encompassed by Booth Avenue and Martin L. King Avenue. The units, 46 in all, are pre-construction priced from between $192,000 and $222,000. Those numbers, however, will change.

“Our prices are too low, and we’re reviewing price increases,” said Bud Reichel, Clearwater Village principal. “Our intention is to sell half before construction and then increase the price by a minimum of $10,000 after that. If we can get $20,000 more, we will.”

Reichel and city officials said new residential is wanted and needed in the area. He said he hopes New York Lofts is the type of project that will bring young professionals downtown.

Ralph Stone, assistant city manager overseeing economic development, echoed Reichel’s sentiments.

“We have really good residential development opportunities wrapping around Cleveland Street,” said Stone. “We believe that four-block area around Cleveland is a natural for a Main Street-type atmosphere where you have ground-level retail and residents.” The loft project is not the first for Reichel in Clearwater, but it is expected to have a much faster approval process.

Reichel’s company is in the final stages of developing Clearwater Village at Kings Highway and State Street.

Clearwater Village has 129 single-family and multifamily units on more than 12 acres, which took Reichel years to acquire and receive approval to develop.

Reichel said he expects to receive the New York Lofts’ development order by the end of the week, and the final permit to build within 30 days. Groundbreaking is scheduled for March.

“My understanding is that it is moving forward under the normal site planning, which is the first step, and is going well,” said Stone. “It is definitely the type of project we want to see downtown, and we’re actively promoting downtown residential.”


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