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Highland Park Development Plans Unveiled

Altis at Highland Park would be similar to West Park Village featuring rental units and retail space.

A new mixed-use luxury development featuring retail and residential is in the works for Highland Park neighborhood.

Last week representatives with the Altman Companies, the project's developer, presented a conceptual plan to members of the community.

The mixed-use plan called "Altis at Highland Park" will consists of about 230 high-end luxury rental units, and about 4,000 to 5,000 square feet of retail space. The project would be built at the entrance of the community on Fountainhead Drive.

In addition to the buildings, a playground, dog park, and space for a farmer's market or community garden would be included. The apartments would have a pool, clubhouse and cyber cafe.

The project would remain consistent with the aesthetic of Highland Park, a walkable community with brick-paved streets and lush landscaping.

It's a touch that longtime resident Doug Clery is happy about.

"We have a different feel to our landscaping. That's something that when we've had other builders come in they didn't always live up to the expectations," said Clery, who has lived in Highland Park for 7 years. "The new developer that's come has taken a great deal of care about how they'll be landscaping."

The Altman Companies is based in Boca Raton and has been in business since 1969. The Highland Park development would be its sixth property in Tampa.

Recently, the company opened Altis at Grand Cypress, a luxury apartment development, in the Lutz area. Developers encouraged Highland Park residents to take a look at the project off U.S. 14.

The project was "absolutely beautiful," Clery said.

"It looked exactly like what he was explaining to us," he said. "It made e feel very comfortable."

Clery was one of the first to move into the Highland Park community, which is located off Race Track Road near Waterchase. The tract of land that will become "Altis at Highland Park" has always been zoned as mixed use, said Steve Valdez, Hillsborough County Public Works spokesman.

Jeffrey Roberts, Altman's president, came to speak to Highland Park residents at last week's meeting. The company has hired the architect who worked with Highland Park's original developer to do the Altis project.

"They had somebody who really understood the zoning issues and the architectural details," Clery said.

When finished the Altis project would be similar to nearby West Park Village with retail and rental units combined.

After the builders secure the proper permits, groundbreaking could occur in the first or second quarter of 2013, Roberts told those at the meeting. The entire development may take 15-16 months for completion.

Residents have been chiming in on the Highland Park Facebook page about the project.

Resident Elizabeth Pustam wrote: "Seven years after living here, I welcome any development in the front in place of of overgrown weeds that makes our neighborhood look blighted."

What do you think about the proposal? Let us know in the comments section.

Jason & Dyan Pithers July 26, 2012 at 11:11 AM
Fabulous News! The front of the community was always intended to model West Park Village and the neighborhood has such potential from a real estate perspective. I am delighted with this news for the residents of Highland Park and a as an active real estate professional. Dyan Pithers, Coldwell Banker Westchase
Monkey Bunny July 26, 2012 at 12:04 PM
I hope they plan it better than West Park Village. There's always a bottleneck at the entrace, particularly because people seem to think it's ok to double park their cars in front of Starbucks.
Anthony Malafronte July 26, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Great news for Highland Park and the entire area! The plan as described sounds like exactly what so many have been hoping for. Congratulations to all, especially the residents of Highland Park! Anthony Malafronte, Coldwell Banker

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