Plans suggest apartment living coming to Gulf Coast Town Center
Apartments and a parking garage are coming to Gulf Coast Town Center.
The general contractor was posting no trespassing signs Monday morning in an area that was fenced off late last week. A sitemap on the mall’s website shows an area for “proposed multi-family” that begins just east of Dick’s Sporting Goods and ends at the north-south road that separates the town center from fast-food restaurants McDonald’s and Pollo Tropical.
The area fenced off matches the footprint of the sitemap.
North American Development Group and DK Capital purchased the 1.2 million-square-foot outdoor mall in 2017. The mall includes, Costco, Super Target, @home and Belk.
North American and Centre Corp. Management Group, for two weeks, didn’t return repeated phone calls seeking comment about the project.
The Construction Journal, which provides construction project information, listed the project going out to bid on their website July 7. The bid estimated the value at $80 million. It included a four-story, multifamily building with 277 units and a three-story parking garage.
“It will do amazingly well,” said Gary Tasman, CEO and principal broker at Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Property Southwest Florida. “It will add a lot of success to Gulf Coast Town Center.”
The town center is dotted with empty store fronts of retailers. JC Penney and Best Buy closed big box stores. @home replaced JC Penney.
Jacob Amore, who has owned Amore Brick Oven at Gulf Coast Town Center since 2009, said the project will have its pluses and minuses.
“It will bring in more people, but it will be a little more crowded and noisier.”
Gary Karkoski and his sister have owned Kilwins at the shopping center for 6 ½ years. He wasn’t aware of the project.
“In my opinion it would be awesome,” he said. The ice cream and candy store attracts many of its customers from the Regal movie theater and the nearby Game Time arcade. Apartment dwellers could add a different kind of customer.
Tasman said the residential component was missing from the time the mall opened in 2005.
The original developers made a mistake not including residential as part of the project, he said. Mixed-use projects, with retail, entertainment and residential, were becoming a trend at the time the outdoor mall was being built.
“It accelerates the opportunity for success,” Tasman said.
The original developers also made a mistaken putting some of the most popular restaurants too far away for patrons to walk to retailers.
The ideal situation would be to add residential on top of existing stores like they have at Coconut Point in Estero, but that wouldn’t be financially feasible, Tasman said.
“This is the next best thing,” he said.
Each unit would cost about $288,800 to build if you take the $80 million estimated value listed on the bid and divide it by 277 units.
“That’s a very feasible project,” he said.
Rents could easily go anywhere from $2.50 to $3 per square foot.
“These are going to be some of the most sought-after apartments in Southwest Florida,” he said.
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