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Palm Coast Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 6 days ago

Apartments planned to kickstart innovation district in Town Center

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The city could get 300 new apartment units.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Developers have approached the city government about building a combined 300 apartment units in Town Center, kick-starting the development of the city’s “innovation district” in the area.

“It’s really about diversifying our housing stock,” interim City Manager Beau Falgout told the Palm Coast City Council during a presentation at the council’s Oct. 9 council workshop. “Providing those more affordable options, the diverse housing choices ... really trying to encourage the activation of downtown.

A rendering of The Palms at Town Center (Image courtesy of the city of Palm Coast)

Activating downtown, Mayor Milissa Holland said at the workshop, will require commercial development as well as residential, but “residential drives commercial.”

“We don’t build Bed, Bath & Beyond, but Bed, Bath & Beyond makes a decision to come in here that is market-driven,” based on factors like local spending and population data, she said.

In Town Center, she said, the city is seeking to encourage the development of a walkable, multi-use downtown.

Work on the proposed new residential units is expected to begin with an 88-unit, three-building apartment complex called The Palms at Town Center, to be built at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Bulldog Drive by the Coconut Grove-based Housing Trust Group. It would not be age-restricted.

The three-story buildings would sit on 9.12 acres, and the site would have a clubhouse, pool, dog park, volleyball area and nature path, according to a city of Palm Coast news release.

A rendering of The Palms at Town Center (Image courtesy of the city of Palm Coast)

The development would earn $440,000 in utility impact fee credits through a program designed to encourage development in the downtown area, according to the news release. The impact fee credit through the Kick Start Program is based on the number of units, with $5,000 per residential unit or $5,000 per 1,000 square feet for commercial, according to the city news release.

The Housing Trust Group is working on financing through the Florida Housing Financed Corporation for affordable housing, and is seeking a $500,000 grant from the city that will bolster its application. The 88-unit development would go to the Planning & Land Development Regulation Board for approval on Oct. 17, and would not be required to receive separate approval from the City Council because it is less than 100 units.

The same developer has also proposed an additional 110 units, and another developer has proposed another development. Those proposals are not as far along in the approval process as the 88-unit proposal.

Other proposed development projects in Town Center include condos and townhouses and an apartment complex on Central Avenue, plus a commercial building near the intersection of Central Avenue and Bulldog Drive, according to the news release.

Town Center is 17% developed so far, according to the news release.

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