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Arlington Commons apartments
Sarasota Thursday, Aug. 1, 2019 4 months ago

Developer, city explore higher density, attainable housing

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A proposed 233-unit apartment complex on Bahia Vista Street would require a new zoning classification.
by: David Conway Deputy Managing Editor

The developer behind a proposed apartment complex at 2750 Bahia Vista St. is seeking an increase in the number of units it is allowed to build — in exchange for ensuring 15% of those units are attainable housing.

On July 12, Bahia Vista Associates submitted plans to the city to build 233 apartments on a 4.67-acre parcel near Bahia Vista and Tuttle Avenue. The Arlington Commons project would necessitate an amendment to the city’s future land-use map and a rezoning.

The property is currently designated for medium-density, multifamily housing, a land-use classification that would allow up to 13 units per acre. The developer is seeking permission to build up to 50 units per acre with a height maximum of five stories.

Although residential density outside of the downtown area is generally capped at 25 units per acre, the city has two higher-density zoning designations permitting either 35 or 50 units per acre. Those zoning designations are not in place for any properties within the city currently. City staff is looking at revising the code to use increased density as an incentive to create more attainable housing units.

Staff said a zoning amendment could be forthcoming before the end of the year, but Bahia Vista Associates is pushing forward with its efforts to get its property rezoned. Aaron Ruben, vice president of southeast development with developer Casto, said that the plans were designed to provide people a more reasonably priced option for living in the communities where they work.

Although the project team has not yet met with residents surrounding the site, Ruben said the developer welcomed input and had already taken steps to try to create a natural transition between the apartments and their surroundings.

“We’ve really tried to design the project to be good neighbors,” he said.

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