Apartments an option for Northpointe Village

The Northpointe Village shopping center could get a 300-unit apartment complex, on a vacant parcel with rental appeal for employees of Mettler Toledo.

The Swiss-manufacturer broke ground in January on a 250,000-square-foot plant, within Northpointe. The plant is expected to bring about 500 jobs into Pasco County, with about 185 of them being new jobs for the company.

Northpointe Village is a walkable ‘main street’ village concept with offices and shops, off State Road 54 at Suncoast Parkway. Apartments would add a residential component to the development.
(Kathy Steele)

Members of the Pasco County Development Review Committee recommended approval of the apartments at their March 30 meeting in New Port Richey. The matter now goes to the Pasco County commissioners for a final vote.

Letters of support came from the board of directors of the North Pointe at Suncoast Crossings Owners Association, and Mettler Toledo.

Mettler’s General Manager Viggo Nielsen wrote that the apartments may provide “convenient on-site housing for employees and a good mixed-use development that we hope will thrive for many years.”

The rezoning requested by Land Investment Partners would only affect the eastern portion of a master plan for Suncoast Crossings. The development is divided into east and west sides, with separate owners of each side.

Northpointe is a mixed use office and retail complex at the southeast corner of State Road 54 and Suncoast Parkway. The complex is laid out as a walkable “main street” village with shops, offices and restaurants. Renaissance Inn and Hilton Garden Inn also are on-site, as well as TRU Simulation, a manufacturer of flight simulators and a pilot training center.

The Pasco Economic Development Council, which partners with the county on job creation, also has its offices in Northpointe.

The western side of Suncoast Crossings includes the Suncoast shopping center, offices and residential neighborhoods.

Despite efforts to market the Northpointe parcel for non-residential purposes, developers and investors showed no interest, said Clarke Hobby, a land use attorney representing Land Investment Partners.

They repeatedly said the location lacked direct access and visibility to State Road 54

Hobby said, “We think multifamily makes good sense, and it is consistent with market demand. What (Northpointe) doesn’t have and what the retail village has struggled with is multifamily or higher density to get it moving.”

Suncoast Parkway, at State Road 54, is attracting investment for several projects after languishing through the economic downturn.

The master-planned community of Bexley North is under construction on the north side of State Road 54, across from Northpointe. Also, on the north side of the state highway, two more residential and commercial developments are planned adjacent to Bexley and the Suncoast Trail.

If approved, the rezoning for Northpointe would add apartments as a use while retaining office, research and light industrial for another portion of the same site.

Hobby said the focus remains on attracting office and light industrial, and creating jobs. “We’re aggressively pursuing opportunities,” he said.

Future development could include about 225,000 square feet of Class A offices, as well as one or two hotels, he added.

Pasco County plans to build an extension of Northpointe Village Drive as part of an incentive package of about $7.6 million for Mettler Toledo.

Northpointe’s owners will contribute more than $250,000 to the project. That could be reduced by 15 percent if Pasco receives a state reimbursement of about $1.2 million for the estimated $3.2 million road project.

Published April 19, 2017

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