By Mary Thurwachter

A portion of the development site for Water Tower Commons has been sold to the Related Group for $14.76 million from Lantana Development, a partnership of Kenco Communities’ Ken Endelson and Wexford Capital.
The sale, registered early in November, came after Lantana Development and the Related Group won approval from the Lantana Town Council to build 360 apartments on 16 acres at the north end of Water Tower Commons, the mixed-used development on Lantana Road east of Interstate 95.
To finance the apartment complex project, Related of Miami, one of the country’s largest real estate conglomerates, took a $52.2 million loan from Regions Bank.
The anticipated completion date is expected in 2020, according to commercial real estate broker Jay Bailyn, who represented the buyer and seller.
“This was expected,” said Lantana Mayor David Stewart, who said the Related Group, which has about 4,000 multifamily units in its development pipeline, was just waiting for some approvals from the town before the closing.
Lantana Chamber of Commerce President Dave Arm said another reason for the timing of the purchase is that developers were waiting for the entrance lane off of Lantana Road to be paved. That has happened.
“You should see building happening soon,” Arm said.
The first phase of the residential building will include 360 apartments in 14 multifamily buildings, a clubhouse with a resort pool, recreation areas and other amenities such as carports and garages. A 6-foot wall will surround the residential development.
A second phase of residential development received approval from the Town Council on Sept. 24. That project will have 348 units on 18 acres, which are also expected to be purchased by the Related Group before construction begins. The plan calls for four multifamily buildings, 18 big houses, a main clubhouse, resort pools and open recreation areas.
Water Tower Commons has been in the offing since 2014, when Lantana Development and Wexford Capital bought the land, which previously housed the A.G. Holley tuberculosis hospital, from the state for $15.6 million.
The commercial portion of the project lags behind the residential due to a challenging retail climate, Ken Tuma, a principal with Urban Design Kilday Studios, said in September. Walmart showed interest in an upscale store, but the idea never materialized.
Tuma said the project has been on the wrong side of a change in the retail industry, but that things are more positive now, especially as the residential buildings come to fruition.
Having the residential units on site, Tuma said, has made the commercial development “much more marketable because of potential for people living within the community.”

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