WINTER HAVEN – Staff representing the new owners of Lakeview Tower, located on Lake Howard, recently showed Winter Haven Planning Manager Sean Byers design plans to dramatically renovate the property.
The building was purchased for $13 million on Oct. 15, 2019, by Lakeview Tower Venture LP.
Built in 1971 as affordable housing for seniors, Byers said in exchange for decades of government tax credits, the original owners had to set aside a certain quantity of units for seniors whose rent was subsidized by the government.
Byers said those tax credits may have recently expired and that he is under the impression anyone can live there currently.
According to a 2016 U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development document, the property has a history of issues. Byers said the property is in need of desperate renovation.
“I've been told it's not in good shape,” Byers said.
With the nearby Seventh Street Complete Street Project now finished, city leaders are hoping that investment by the new ownership will encourage others to make investments on the east side of Lake Howard, near the downtown area.
“If it's a good project, it could be a game-changer in that area,” advisory board member Steve Lockhart said.
Byers also spoke about other recent developments during a Winter Haven Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board meeting Feb. 10 at city hall.
The former Crisp-Coon Funeral Home, at First Street and Avenue B SW, has been torn down and a new 13,000-square-foot medical office is being built.
Sunset Apartments, a 15-unit complex on Avenue C SW near Lake Howard, broke ground recently. It is the first notable construction in that area in 15 years, Byers said.
Finally, Byers said staff representing Lakeshore Club Apartments recently submitted construction plans to build a four-story apartment complex building adjacent to their existing five-story complex, located near Lake Howard, Lake May and Old Man Frank's.