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More apartments at Santa Rosa Mall could soon become a reality. Here’s a look at Phase 2

On Monday, May 16, 2022, the City of Mary Esther’s Local Planning Agency unanimously approved a preliminary development order for a 206-unit apartment complex located on the back side of […]

On Monday, May 16, 2022, the City of Mary Esther’s Local Planning Agency unanimously approved a preliminary development order for a 206-unit apartment complex located on the back side of the Santa Rosa Mall.

  • This is the proposed Phase 2 of the Renaissance Santa Rosa Apartment complex.
  • Phase 1 was complete last year in the old Belk section of the mall.

On March 25, 2022, Renaissance Mary Esther II, LLC and Rea Ventures Group, LLC submitted an application to the City of Mary Esther to construct the second phase of the Renaissance apartments.

  • The project involves 8.25 acres on the east side of Phase 1, that stretches from Page Bacon Road to Dillards.

This means that the current section of the Santa Rosa Mall that this project would encompass would be redeveloped in order to accommodate the new apartments. According to the Northwest Florida Daily News, the area that would be redeveloped includes roughly 30 commercial spaces.

According to city documents, the main U-shaped building will be comprised of 197 units while 3 carriage houses will be comprised of 9 units total.

Additionally, it will have a swimming pool and club house.

Because the project meets the threshold for a major development, it must have the approval of the City Local Planning Agency (LPA) and City Council.

Before it reaches the approval step, the Technical Review Committee (TRC) first reviews the preliminary development order submittal for compliance and makes a recommendation to the LPA.

  • Now that it has gotten the needed approval as of Monday night, the LPA’s recommendation will go before the City Council at a second public hearing to determine whether the project should be granted a preliminary development order.

If a preliminary development order is granted by the City Council, the developers will move forward with 100% design plans and submit the plans to the City in order to obtain a final development order.

  • Once a final development order has been obtained, the developer has 12 months to obtain the necessary construction permits, according to the city.

Fun Fact: The City of Mary Esther’s LPA is made up entirely of city council members.

Technical Aspects

  • Project Area: 8.25 acres
  • Units: 206
  • Buildings: 1 main, 3 carriage houses, 1 clubhouse, 1 swimming pool, 1 accessory
  • 58,010 square feet. Main building is 4 stories. Carriage houses are 2 stories.

Currently, Renaissance at Santa Rosa offers 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments for rent. Each apartment ranges from 602 ($1,885/mo) to 1,431 square feet ($2,729/mo).

If Phase 2 of the Renaissance Santa Rosa Apartment complex proceeds, permitting revenue to the City from the project is estimated to be $596,162.54. Water/sewer usage revenue is estimated at $179,679.00 annually, with property taxes estimated at $138,000.00 annually.

Looking ahead: The LPA’s recommendation will go before the city council on June 6th for final consideration.

7 Responses

  1. This is not a wealthy area. The rents on these tiny apartments is ridiculous! Who in this area can possibly afford them?

    The mall was really the only thing to do here. Now we have nothing.

    I’ve always felt that this area was unattractive, boring and lacking anything cultural.

    Personally, I can’t afford to shop in Destin. The prices of items in the various shops and boutiques are beyond my fixed income budget.

    I am so disappointed about all of the useless things being built here. We really need more car washes, storage units and unaffordable apartments.

    This area has declined in appearance to the point that it is terribly ugly and slum looking.

    I hate it here!

  2. Ann, I agree with you 100%. Why build more apartments when all the things to do are being closed. The planners are not thinking about homeowners, families and the military. There was actually more entertainment in 82 when I moved here, more theaters, bowling, center court in the Mall for fashion shows and music groups but Eglin Parkway looks just as it did. So many storage units and car washes, that is not entertainment…It is embarrassing to have visitors come now.

  3. We need more long term affordable apartments & townhomes.That have open spaces & storage. A 2/2 bd should average $1500. We work in the area. Our wages are not meeting the inflation expectations of what you plan to charge. The last rent increase has already put us into poverty level over 30%. We don’t have amenities & pay here to afford these rates & not worth the commute elsewhere to work.

  4. It seems the Okaloosa Planning Commision, Okaloosa County Board are only looking at dollar signs and ignoring the local people here in the Ft. Walton/Mary Esther/Santa Rosa/Navarre area. You are putting in all these apartments and townhomes while ignoring the affect on those of us that have lived here for years. I see the goal is to make it Destin-West – put up all these high rises and apartments people can’t afford, investors buy them and then they are rentals for people to come here and destroy the area making traffic unbearable during the summer. You have decimated the 98 corridor and it’s just getting worse for those residing in these areas especially along 98. Traffic, traffic accidents, crime have all risen exponentially yet you have NOT employed any additional Law Enforcement. What was a beautiful, quiet, pleasant area to live is now a place most want to get out of but are stuck because of the current economy. How about you consider US – the ones that have been paying those taxes that you are gladly spending for all of these projects when you make your decisions.

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Community Comments

“1B................Let FWB grow.”
“Amazing article!!! Jared Williams is an incredible writer and this article captures the incredible things happening in our community! Thank you Jared! Linda Dugan”
“Awesome... The kind of people, that need a safe, affordable home for themselves and their families, without your judgment. .”
“Curious who is funding Gregg Chapel so he can build cheap housing here. Curious what kind of residents he looking for to move here.”
“This is extremely upsetting. I hope the parents of this young man sees this as a " Cry for Help" and move forward in getting him evaluated., into counseling with...”
“Will the Hurlburt golf course be open?”
“I really think this is a great idea. My only concern is what is planned at the base of the Destin bridge. I am not a proponent of any development...”
“Traffic signals have a definite limit to how many cars an hour can pass under them. The signal system downtown has been beyond capacity since 1990. To increase capacity additional...”