LAKELAND (FL) – The corner of Bay Street and Kentucky Avenue in Downtown Lakeland is buzzing with activity. Crews are coming going for construction on the new project, NOBAY. Although workers are already making a dent in the dirt, the official groundbreaking ceremony is Wednesday at 5 p.m.
“We’ve done a lot of research and we believe there’s a strong demand for downtown residential living,” Matt Clark, the President of Broadway Real Estate Services said. “We’re excited for the impact this project will offer as an urban downtown lifestyle option.”
NOBAY will house 55 apartments and 11 small retail spaces, about 600 foot bays. Developers are also hoping to attract a Bar/Restaurant as the anchor.. No retailers have signed on just yet but Clark isn’t worried.
“Sometimes you get pre-leasing but usually people want to see project moving forward first,” Clark said. “We have a good start and we hope to open fall of 2016.”
NOBAY is the first new construction project in Downtown Lakeland in 15 years. Clark admits the housing will be more expensive than some other options in the area but believes people are craving something different.
James Williams, a Polk County resident, moved to the area recently from New York. He likes the idea of development.
“It’s great,” Williams said. “It will bring more jobs, more activities, I definitely think it’s a good thing.”
Cori Melzard, who lives on the outskirts of Lakeland also likes the idea, but hopes the city doesn’t change too much.
“More stores and more restaurants are always nice but we kind of like it the way it is with mom and pop shops,” Melzard said.”We just don’t want it to get too big, that’s what we love about Lakeland.”
The ceremony at 5 p.m. on Wednesday is on the property at Bay Street and Kentucky Avenue.