TAMPA - Another apartment developer will test the Tampa area's appetite for $1,000-and-up rentals by planning a 259-unit apartment complex for Tampa's Hyde Park area and a 240-unit complex for Clearwater.
If they are built, Alliance Residential Company's two projects, Broadstone Hyde Park and Broadstone Clearwater, would join a remarkable resurgence in apartment construction that could bring more than 6,000 rental units to Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
On the Tampa side of the bay, Alliance Residential has filed for a building permit for a five-story, urban infill complex at Cleveland Street and Rome Avenue. Several industrial buildings sit on the 3-acre property now, most of which appear vacant, except for one building housing Southern Equipment Corp.
Alliance Residential envisions two adjoining apartment buildings and a parking garage, with a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units starting at $1,100 for a 550-square-foot unit and running to just shy of $2,500 a month for 1,600 square feet. Residents will share a clubhouse, resort-style pool and a Wi-Fi cafe, Alliance Residential managing director John Zeledon said.
All told, it's about a $38 million project, he said.
At those leasing rates, Broadstone Hyde Park would be at the upper end of the Tampa area's apartment industry, according to data from rent research firm MyRentComps.com. Across the region, for example, the average rent is about $900.
However, Alliance Residential is betting that its South Tampa location close to Howard Avenue's restaurants and shops and Hyde Park Village will keep it filled up.
"I think it would appeal to anyone right out of college, young professionals, more mature adults and new families to Tampa who want to be in the Hyde Park area," Zeledon said.
In Clearwater, the company is planning a slightly more modest apartment complex featuring nine residential buildings of three stories apiece. A more suburban "garden-style" complex, rents there would range from $975 a month to $1,400, Zeledon said. The project overall is worth about $28 million, he said.
In fact, the Bay area is experiencing a boom in new apartments fueled by cheap debt, investors who are desperate to deploy their capital after the recession and an assumption that many people will be forced to rent because of damaged credit.
Not far away from Broadstone Hyde Park, Post Properties is building a 231-unit luxury complex called Post SoHo Square on South Howard Avenue.
In one sign of trouble for developers, the Tampa City Council last month denied a rezoning request from apartment developer Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, which wanted to build another complex on South Howard Avenue.
Too many residents of the surrounding neighborhood protested against its potential effects on the area.
A big question for Alliance Residential and other developers is how deep the market is for apartments in the $1,500 to $2,500 range.
Bruce Erhardt, a land broker with Cushman & Wakefield real estate, had his doubts originally, but he became a believer after hearing about the demand for apartments among college students and young professionals.
"I believe that these people aren't fools," he said. "I believe there will be a market."