- September 6, 2019
As companies continue to flock to St. Petersburg, so do people, lured by labor demand, good weather and thriving culture and nightlife. That’s put a strain on the Sunshine City’s housing supply, particularly market-rate apartments, as employment at firms in the Gateway and Carillon business parks swells to more than 60,000 workers.
NRP Group, a Cleveland-based multifamily housing developer, has pounced on the opportunity, starting with Allure at Gateway, a 274-unit, $48 million apartment community in Pinellas Park that offers striking water features and creature comforts.
“With the level of finish and amenities we offer, we’re exceeding expectations in the market,” says Kurt Kehoe, NRP Group’s vice president of development. “If we’re going to go into a market, we’re going to build the best of the best.”
With rents ranging from $1,300 to $1,800, the Allure’s units are competitively priced. “We’re not asking people to pay rent outside the market,” Kehoe says, “but I'm telling you, we set the market.”
NRP believes it has done that, with a design that creates an oasis amid the busy U.S. 19 corridor north of St. Pete. The Allure’s two buildings wrap around a central area that features a pool and patio area nestled amid a pond.
“We wanted to build something that buffers residents from the heavy traffic on Highway 19,” Kehoe says. “We tried to isolate the interior part of the community.”
The project’s biggest challenge, Kehoe adds, was the nature of the 12-acre parcel itself, which sits between U.S. 19 and a drainage canal to which local water management personnel require access.
“With a lot of apartment communities, you’ve got buildings that overlook wetlands, or something with a view,” he says. “We didn’t have that, and our residents are not going to want to overlook Highway 19 — that’s not a desirable view. So that’s what drove us to point our residents toward the interior of the site.”
The NRP Group expects to have all work on the site completed, and the property fully occupied, by early 2020. The Allure is home to 19 residents “but more are moving in every day,” Kehoe says.
In addition to Allure at Gateway, the company plans to be active on the Gulf Coast in the coming years and has set up offices in both Tampa and St. Pete. Its next projects scheduled to open include Aria at Bradenton, a 302-unit development, and 1701 Central, a 243-unit community in St. Pete that also includes more than 5,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.
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