Sunday, Nov 23, 2014

New housing underway in Seminole


Published:

SEMINOLE — With several residential development projects in the works, soon there might be virtually no land left for new housing in this city.

The first of eight apartment buildings is up at The Courtney at Bay Pines, across from Bay Pines VA Medical Center. When completed, the complex will have 330 apartments. There also are plans for 56 single-family homes

About 3 miles north on Seminole Boulevard, about half of 64 planned town homes at Bayou Grande have been built after the development off 104th Lane, behind Home Depot, stalled during the recession.

And on Tuesday, the Seminole City Council will vote on 15 upscale single-family homes on Lake Seminole at the site of a mobile home park off Seminole Boulevard, just north of Park Boulevard, that was razed during the housing boom.

These few projects are building out some of the last available properties in Seminole.

“We don’t have a lot of vacant land left,” said Mark Ely, Seminole’s community development director.

Altamonte Springs-based developer ContraVest started work at The Courtney in April 2012, and the project originally was scheduled to be completed by winter of next year, though poor weather has caused delays, Ely said.

The last residential project in this city that compares to The Courtney in size was the Beachway Condos, built in the late 1990s, he said.

Most residential housing development in Seminole and across Pinellas County appears to be driven by demand for rental properties, particularly from people who lost their homes during the crash, Ely said.

A proposed single-family home development near the intersection of Gordon Drive and Seminole Boulevard seems to buck that trend.

That 3.7-acre plot had been home to Lake Shore mobile home park for years, until investors offered $2.5 million for it.

The county changed the allowable density from 7.5 units to 10 units per acre to make way for a large town home development.

Financing for that project never materialized, though. Developer Domain Homes now is proposing to build a subdivision of 15 one- and two-story homes, two of them fronting Lake Seminole.

“There’s a shortage of land for single-family detached housing,” said Ely.

“My guess is if this wasn’t on the lake you’d be getting multifamily.”

The only prospects for adding new housing in Seminole will be redeveloping properties on which there already are buildings.

But landowners, especially those who bought during the boom years, may not be able to get enough money for their property to sell, Ely said.

jboatwright@tampatrib.com

(727) 215-1277

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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