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Friday, November 19, 2021

Marco Polo Apartments seeks rezoning to move forward with 320-unit apartment complex

Marco Polo Apartments will seek approval from Marion County officials to rezone a 70-acre property for the construction of 320 multifamily apartment units in southwest Ocala.

The request will come before the Marion County Board of County Commissioners during its next regular meeting on Tuesday, October 19.

The 70.85 acre site is located on the south side of SW Highway 484, extending west from SW 20th Avenue Road to Marion Oaks. A portion of the property will also lie east of SW 20th Avenue Road.

Marco Polo Apartments aerial shot
Marco Polo Apartments is planned for a 70.85 acre site south of SW Hwy 484 and west of SW 20th Avenue Road

According to county records, the previous planned unit development (PUD) provided for a range of commercial uses on the site.

If approved, the request would allow the property to maintain its existing, non-residential commercial uses and add a multi-family residential use as a permitted use. The change will also update the proposed roadway and access network.

Property owner Katica Pavicic, who owns Marco Polo Builders, Inc., has plans to build 320 residential dwelling units that would consume approximately 28% of the site’s eligible density.

Although county staff recommends approval of the request, there are conditions that the developer will have to meet in order to satisfy the county.

County officials have expressed concerns with the transportation accessibility in the area, pointing to the existence of SummerGlen and another proposed development and the potential for congestion.

According to the developer, the updated roadway and access plan should address the roadway issues by eliminating the curve that exists on SW 20th Avenue Road as it approaches Highway 484. That curve will be replaced by an intersection and SW 20th Avenue Road will extend west, parallel to Highway 484, to Marion Oaks.

Two additional roadways will connect the extended road north to Highway 484, with the eastern roadway completing the realignment of SW 20th Avenue Road and resulting in formal intersections in the development and at Highway 484.

According to the county, the update will allow signalization to be more effectively managed and will improve overall access coordination, sight distances, and intersection queuing options.

Additional cross access will be provided to the northwest to the adjoining Marion Oaks commercial area along Highway 484.

County records also note that multi-modal access methods, including pedestrian access, will be designed during the overall site development and roadway network design stage. Those stages have not yet been completed.

Marco Polo Apartments Ocala Florida
Preliminary designs of Marco Polo Apartments were shared with the county earlier this year

The residential area of the property is expected to be on the southern portion of the site and will include an amenity center with a clubhouse and sports courts.

The Marion County Board of County Commissioners will host its next regular meeting on Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the McPherson Governmental Complex located at 601 SE 25th Avenue in Ocala.