New Apartments Break Ground North of Tampa

Pasco County, Fla.--The Altman Cos. has broken ground on Altís at Grand Cypress, an apartment property with 17 two-story buildings totaling 258 units north of Tampa.

Pasco County, Fla.–The Altman Cos. has broken ground on Altís at Grand Cypress, an apartment property with 17 two-story buildings totaling 258 units in Pasco County, north of Tampa. The development will be on 60 acres in a rapidly growing area near Florida (Highway) 54. Twenty acres will be devoted to development, with remaining acreage set aside for a lake and a forested cypress preserve.

The development will feature three building types consisting of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, and some units will have attached garages. Common amenities will include a resort-style swimming pool with beach entry, a sunning deck, and an outdoor lounge bar area with TVs, fireplace, large playground, and multiple picnic/barbecue areas. The property’s clubhouse will include a fitness center, billiards table and business center.

Altman anticipates that construction will take about 17 months, with the first units slated for delivery in July 2012. The final piece of the puzzle for the development fell in place shortly before groundbreaking when Altman acquired a $18.4 million construction loan through City National Bank of Florida, with equity provided through Sarofim Realty Advisors and Altman.

According to the company, the approval of the loan for a project four years in planning is a sign that U.S. credit markets are improving. But also that underwriting standards are still fairly tight, despite the surge in demand for apartment properties.

“I can’t say whether it’s permanently tighter, but there are definitely tighter underwriting standards today than there were five or even 10 years ago,” Joel Altman, chairman of the Altman Cos., tells MHN. “That’s true even for strong developments, and even for well-experienced developers.”

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