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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Over 100 new apartments coming to Downtown Ocala

Over 100 new apartments are coming to Downtown Ocala.

The approval for the new apartments came during the May 18 meeting of the Ocala City Council.

The apartments will be built along SE 8th Street, between SE Third Avenue and Osceola Avenue, and will include 102 units.

Fred Roberts, an attorney representing the developer, spoke on the positive impact that the developer and property owners believe the new apartments will have, including the improvements to infrastructure and stormwater conveyance.

“While we appreciate the city doing this, [the public infrastructure improvements] are not singularly for this project. From a catalytic perspective, it satisfies a tremendous need of housing in our downtown central core,” said Roberts.

He suggested that the “payback period,” which is the period in which the city would receive a return on its investment, was “very quick,” to which Councilman Jay Musleh agreed.

“The payback on this is one of the shortest I’ve seen,” concurred Musleh.

In addition to the economic impact of more residents having access to the downtown area, Roberts suggested that the recoupment of the actual out of pocket dollars that the city is investing was something that would only stand to benefit the city in the short and long term.

Mayor Kent Guinn issued his support of the project before posing a question about additional stormwater runoff. To address the issue, which has been a recurring one at the intersection of Osceola Avenue and SE 8th Street, the city will upsize from 15-inch pipes to 18 and 24-inch pipes.