LAKELAND – It’s taken years, but the city has given its approval for a four-story apartment complex on East Lime Street to move forward.
Lakeland’s Historic Preservation Board and Design Review Committee have given the go-ahead to demolish a one-story duplex at 611 Lime St. to make way for developer Jason Lewis, president of CODA Development, to begin construction. construction of an apartment complex in the historic garden district of the city. .
The apartments will occupy the southwest corner of East Lime St. and South Indiana Ave. – across from Grace Manor – on property totaling just under an acre. The four-story building will contain a total of 48 units: 40 one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartments and 8 two-bedroom, two-bathroom units.
“I think we’ve put in place something that people think is promising that will fit into the neighborhood and into the city guidelines,” Lewis said, noting that he’s working with Lakeland-based architects, The Lunz Group.
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Early renderings of the 45,000-square-foot building show an exterior appearance that “mimics historic architectural styles,” according to the Historic Preservation Board’s notes. The proposal calls for a white brick veneer over red and hardie brick panels, commonly found in Frame Venacular and Bungelow homes in the Garden District.
The design of the building will provide ground floor residents with a porch, with the upper level units having access to a balcony, each bearing columns reflecting the historic style.
“We keep it handcrafted,” Lewis said. “It is therefore relevant to the area in nature and does not stand out in a negative way.”
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Lewis recently purchased the property from the family of the late Lakeland Commissioner Edie Yates and acquired 611 E. Lime St.
Yates, as a former managing partner of Baylis Consulting, had submitted plans to build a 40-unit apartment building on the site in November 2018.
The apartment complex proposed by Baylis Consulting faced a lot of setback from its proposed height of 55 feet, as the city commission considered whether to increase the height of buildings from 40 to 60 feet to that time. Yates advocated for the development of incentives in the Garden District.
Despite the project’s approval in February 2019, construction never progressed. With the city commission approving new zoning laws that allow a height of 60 feet in parts of the Garden District, Lewis and his development team won’t face the same battle.
This will be Lewis’s third construction project in Lakeland’s historic Garden District, with construction scheduled to begin in the spring of 2022. Construction is already approved and underway for five apartment buildings on East Lemon Street and four three-story buildings. floors at 721 and 725 E. Saint-Orange
Lewis said he doesn’t care about the demand for downtown apartments and his ability to rent out any units he builds when finished.
“I have existing units and never have a rental problem. There is a high demand,” he said. “I don’t care whether they will be rented or not. There is definitely a demand with people moving from the northeast to Florida.”
Sara-Megan Walsh can be reached at [email protected] or 863-802-7545. Follow on Twitter @SaraWalshFl.