Colonnade Park in Inverness

Artist rendering of Colonnade Park in Inverness

Fort Lauderdale developers looking to build a 106-unit apartment complex in Inverness on Colonade Street near Forest Drive got the city council’s approval for a development agreement, allowing the project to move forward.

The city council voted unanimously for the agreement that starts the process to allow Colonnade Park LTD to build the apartment complex in an area of the city with four other condominium and townhome communities.

“I think this is a win-win for the city,” said council president Ken Hinkle. “A little more modern housing in the area would be beneficial.”

Colonnade Park officials were not immediately available for comment, but the company website describes the complex as having on-site management, a swimming pool, fitness center, club room and game room. The website anticipates the complex to be completed by the third quarter of 2020.

The company has a similar-sized apartment complex in Hernando and other apartment complexes in Florida catering to low income, senior citizens, and mixed uses, according to its website. 

Inverness' assistant city manager Eric Williams told the Chronicle that he’s discussed the project with the developer and the plan is for the apartment complex to be designated affordable housing. The city expects to collect about $300,000 in impact fees, he said. But until the developer submits more permit applications, its uncertain how much the city will collect in property taxes from the development.

City Manager Frank DiGiovanni told the council during this week’s regularly scheduled public meeting that the apartment would attract mostly working families and individuals. He told the council the project “ought to be welcomed by the city,” but warned there would be some impacts such as additional traffic on Colonade Street, which is already deteriorated with dozens of patched potholes.

Williams told the Chronicle that collected impact fees from the development could be used to improve Colonade Street, which would also result in fixes to the road. He also said that 73 of the 106 apartments would be single-bedroom units, which might attract some senior citizens.             

As part of the agreement, Colonnade Park LTD agreed to hand over to the city 0.28 acres for stormwater collection on the site, all water and sewer mains to the city, and to build a sidewalk along Colonade Street with a crosswalk over Forest Drive so pedestrians can safely cross the road, according to city documents.

Councilman David Ryan asked whether the city could ask the developer to fix Colonade Street, but DiGiovanni warned that would not be a “reasonable request” of the city and would send the wrong message to others looking to invest in Inverness.  

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.