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Ocala
Saturday, July 13, 2024

500-unit development planned for southwest Ocala under review

The Ocala Planning and Zoning Commission will review a developer’s plan to build 480 apartment units and 48 townhomes on a nearly 53-acre property in southwest Ocala.

On Monday, Ocala 42nd Street Residential, LLC will seek approval from the commission to rezone a 52.82-acre property located approximately 850 feet north and 1,200 feet east of the intersection of SW 27th Avenue and SW 42nd Street, next to the Grand Oaks Town Center.

In addition to the rezoning request, the owner is also seeking approval of a planned development (PD) plan and standards for the property. The new plans are Phases 2 and 3 of the development, with Phase 1 being the shopping center built over a decade ago.

Originally, Phases 2 and 3 called for the development of 474 multi-family residences, as well as 30,000 square feet of office space.

The development will feature 30,000 of commercial office space.
The development will feature 30,000 of commercial office space. (Photo: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.)

Now, the developer is seeking approval to amend its PD plan and standards to request both an increase in building height and the addition of approximately 48 more townhomes and 6 more apartment units.

Plans show the apartment units and townhomes planned for the site.
Plans show the apartment units and townhomes planned for the site. (Photo: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.)

The name of the new development is the Residences at Grand Oaks.

According to city records, the property owner presented site plans to neighbors in October 2023 that have since gone through multiple rounds of review by city staff.

The new development, Residences at Grand Oaks, is adjacent to the Grand Oaks Town Center. (Photo: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.)
The new development, Residences at Grand Oaks, is adjacent to the Grand Oaks Town Center. (Photo: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.)

The plan calls for the construction of townhomes and apartment units, as well as passive recreation areas, a community center, a pool, and extended buffers along the northern boundaries of the site.

Although the area in question has seen an explosion of growth in the past 11 years since Phase 1 began, the property has “vested transportation concurrency from an approved Chapter 163 Development Agreement” that allows for the shopping center, the residential units, and the commercial office space to be built, regardless of the commission’s recommendation.

A rendering shows the townhomes at the Residences at Grand Oaks development. (Photo: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.)
A rendering of the townhomes at the Residences at Grand Oaks development. (Photo: Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc.)

According to city staff, mitigation for stormwater impacts will have to be addressed as part of the development as the subdivision directly north of the property, El Dorado, has “historically experienced flooding by runoff originating from the higher surrounding areas,” including the subject property.

Regardless of whether or not the commission recommends approval of the rezoning request and development plan changes, both items will be introduced to the Ocala City Council during its first meeting in August. The council will vote on both items during its second meeting that month on August 20, 2024.

The new apartments will join several others in various stages of construction in southwest Ocala, including at least three that have opened their doors nearby.

Retreat at 42nd Apartments opened its 268-unit luxury apartment complex last August. It is located less than one mile away from the planned development.

Retreat at 42nd in Ocala
Retreat at 42nd opened its luxury apartment complex in the Summer of 2023. (Staff photo)

Less than three miles away, Canter opened a separate, 320-unit luxury apartment complex just weeks after Retreat at 42nd last Summer.

In 2022, Pointe Grand opened at 3435 SW 20th Street, a few miles down the road from the new development.

Over the past couple of months, crews began work at SW 38th Avenue Luxury Apartments, which will bring another 432 apartment units to the area. That apartment complex is located within a couple miles of the others.

SW 38th Avenue Luxury Apartments
SW 38th Avenue Luxury Apartments in Ocala on May 25, 2024. (Staff photo)

The Ocala Planning and Zoning Commission regularly meets on the second Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at Ocala City Hall (110 SE Watula Avenue).