Front porch style apartment design comes to the Florida Keys

The complex will feature 45 apartments ranging in size from a 1-bedroom, 1-bath to a 3-bedroom, 2-bath. Rents range from $1,410 to $3,012 depending on the size and income level of the tenants.

Seaward Landing will start moving new tenants into apartments at the beginning of September. For now, they are accepting pre-leasing applications for the mix of 45 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments in Marathon. 

Developer Peter Rosasco said he’s particularly proud of the complex’s six-building design. 

“This style was popular 10 or 15 years ago and what I like to call the front porch community,” Rosasco said. 

The apartments are spacious with high-end touches including sound-proofing; the nearby highway is rendered silent even for units closest to the street. Every single one has a walk-in closet, stacked washer and dryer units, dishwasher, built-in microwave and kitchen counters made of Silestone.

“It’s a synthetic surface that looks like granite, but is easier to care for,” said Tracy Petersen, the on-site leasing manager. 

Rosasco said the homes are designed to fit the needs of locals who fall into the median-income category. 

“I talked to many community partners — the sheriff, FWC, school district. This is the type of housing we need for mid-level executives. They can live here while they increase their earning power — in safety and in comfort,” said Rosasco.

“We had a couple come by to look at the one-bedroom apartment. She works at Dolphin Research Center, he’s a deputy,” said Petersen, adding the space is 480 square feet. “She said, ‘This is perfect for me, my husband and my dog.’”

Still under construction are the playground and play areas. When those are finished, the developer will start on Seaward Point, market rate homes located on the waterfront edge of the parcel. 

At the July meeting of the Marathon City Council, several residents spoke out about Seaward Landing; specifically, the width of the adjacent 86th Street. 

“When is the developer going to widen 86th Street like he promised?” asked Angela White during public comments. “Right now two cars cannot pass each other.” City attorney Dirk Smits said he has reviewed the development agreement and conditional use that was approved by the city regarding Seaward Landing. Smits said, “it was pretty clear intent there be some design for widening the road” and “evidence warrants more investigation.”

Rosasco said he has cooperated with the City of Marathon by granting a 5-foot easement on the west side of the property adjacent to 86th Street. 

“We would love to see the city improve that street,” Rosasco said. “The problem is that the city would need property owners on the west side of the road to grant an easement as well and it’s doubtful they would agree as it would encroach into their yards and probably conflict with existing utilities and other things, like fences and mailboxes.”

Rosasco said the street widening should be funded by impact fees, road and infrastructure funds or some combination of those. 

“There is no easy or inexpensive solution. If the city does widen (86th Street), get ready to have every other substandard city-owned side street expect the same thing,” he said.  

That issue aside, Rosasoc said he’s pleased to offer modern homes in a safe and friendly environment for 45 local families.

“We think that is the most important thing,” he said. “We also are pleased to have transformed a previously functionally obsolete and unattractive section of Overseas Highway into something our residents and the community can be proud of.”Rosasco is partners with the Index Group of Florida and Sweden, including principals Bjarne Borg and Fredrik Alama.

Developer Peter Rosasco stands in one of the Seaward apartments soon ready to be occupied. The finishing details are top-notch, from stacked washer-dryer units to synthetic “granite” countertops. SARA MATTHIS/Keys Weekly

1 bedroom apartments: $1,410 for singles to $1,611 for two adults in the low-income category; $1,763 for singles to $2,014 for a couple in the median-income category. 

2 bedroom apartments: $2,014 for two adults, $2,266 for three adults and $2,517 for four adults in the median-income category. 

3 bedroom apartments: $2,719 for three adults and $3,012 for four adults in the moderate-income category.  

(By the way, the 1-bedroom apartments set aside for low-income earners are identical to the median-income category.)

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Sara Matthis thinks community journalism is important, but not serious; likes weird and wonderful children (she has two); and occasionally tortures herself with sprint-distance triathlons, but only if she has a good chance of beating her sister.