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East County Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 4 years ago

Apartment complex planned for Lockwood Ridge

by: Josh Siegel Staff Writer

EAST COUNTY — For the last seven years, Adler Group, a Miami-based commercial real-estate company, has owned a 22-acre parcel of land on the southeast corner of State Road 70 and Lockwood Ridge Road.
It’s the site of an abandoned Winn-Dixie that still sits untouched from a time before Adler Group bought the property.

Now, under the name West Lakes Plaza, Adler Group plans to build a 100- to 200-unit apartment complex on the back end of the property while selling frontage space to commercial buyers such as a gas station, bank, fast-food restaurant or even a sit-down diner.

The Winn-Dixie will finally be demolished.

Bob Smither, Adler Group president, hopes to get approval to build the multi-family apartment complex by the end of fall.

The land use on the back end of the property would have to be changed from commercial to multi-family.
Smither said he’s already gotten interest for the front part of the lot, which is approved for commercial use.

“We don’t see this area having a huge amount of business growth, but we expect Bradenton to become a better alternative for accommodating increased traffic that would come from this,” Smither said.

The garden-style, two- to three-story apartments, which will cover two-thirds of the land, will be geared toward the middle class and include amenities such as a pool and gym, Smither said.

He doesn’t expect crews to break ground on the project until late 2012, at the earliest, and he said he’d be comfortable starting construction later, in the first or second quarter of 2014, as well.

Adler is trying to find one- to two-acre owners, such as a convenience store.

Smither wants a restaurant, either fast food or a sit-down, to take up another nine acres.

Behind the commercial property, Adler will build a retention pond for surface run-off.

“The economy wasn’t ready for this before, so we were happy to sit on it,” Smither said. “It’s ready now.”

Contact Josh Siegel at [email protected].

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