Luxury apartments on the Anclote River? Development plan moves forward after all-night meeting

Pinellas County

TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. (WFLA) – Plans for a luxury apartment complex on the Anclote River next to U.S. Highway 19 in Tarpon Springs is moving forward.

The Tarpon Spring Board of Commissioners listened to more than 10 hours of discussion from local families and representatives of the Texas-based developer making its case to build more than 400 luxury apartments at 42501 North U.S. 19. The meeting began around 6 p.m. Wednesday and ended shortly before 5 a.m. on Thursday.

During the two days of discussion, The Morgan Group’s planners explained plans preserve the majority of the wetlands and separates the five 4-story buildings from the river and two bald eagle nesting sites.

“The number one priority when they designed this project was to be sensitive to all of these environmental features and work with the environment instead of just plopping down a project and throwing as much density as they could,” Cyndi Tarapani told the commissioners.

Environmental groups and residents who worry about the addition of more traffic to an already busy stretch of U.S. Highway 19 ae disappointed by commissioners’ decision to move ahead with the project.

“To see native lands and the open spaces that we have are being taken away for something that’s not going to be safe for us — that road is horrendous,” described Theresa Rubalcava, a Pinellas County native.

Rubalcava said the Morgan Group should consider other options for the property.

“If we need apartments, we need affordable housing. A gated community on US-19 is not for the average Pinellas County Resident.”

The developer’s updated proposal has a second access point on the highway.

“We are making every effort to get that approved through the FDOT with all the appropriate design and engineering,” Tarapani said.

Community activists pushing back against the developers’ project have already defeated a plan to build a Walmart on the 74-acre parcel of land.

City leaders say there will be a second reading of the resolution for the complex in November.

Kamil Salame from the Morgan Group declined News Channel 8’s request for an interview at the meeting Wednesday night and has not responded to requests for comment Thursday morning.

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