Developer submits plan to the city

The Housing Trust Group has proposed a plan for the long-shuttered Crystal Cove Resort in Marathon. Located between 47th and 50th Streets on the Gulfside, the plan is to develop 28 RV parking spaces on the water complete with a pool and clubhouse, 46 affordable housing units, and 7,700 square feet of commercial space. The RV resort will be separated from the affordable housing by a gate, and the pool and clubhouse will only be for those guests.

HTG has owned the property since 2006 and has developed numerous projects in Florida from Tampa to Daytona to Homestead. This would be the first Keys project. The projects range from affordable housing to senior living to student quarters.

What’s not known, is what type of affordable housing it would be. The Developer’s Agreement and Conditional Use lists all five categories — very low, low, median, moderate or middle.

“We don’t know what income we will be targeting until we secure financing, but it will be between 60 percent to 140 percent of the median income,” said Jose Romero, vice president of development for the Coconut Grove-based business. A family making 60 percent of the median income typically earns $51,000 a year and a family making 140 percent of the median income typically earns about $120,000 a year. Romero said he would apply to Florida Housing Finance, which typically finances affordable housing.

The renderings of the apartments show one long building with parking on the ground level and two levels of living space above that.

Right now, the property has about two dozen building rights associated with it and those will be used to develop the RV lots, and Romero said the group would apply for more affordable building rights from Monroe Country. He said, if built, the units would be permanently deed restricted as affordable. He also said the project would be developed in phases. Phase one will be the RV lots.

Part of the Planning Commission’s work was to re-certify the zoning change to mixed use. A previous planning commission had already approved the measure, but it did not receive two hearings at the council level.


“I think this is the fourth time I’ve been before the Planning Commission or the Marathon City Council regarding development of this property since 2004,” said Skip Shipman, a neighbor. “We support reasonable commercial development in accordance with city zoning and planning regulations. The only thing we would ask is that the vegetation be high enough to screen our bedroom windows from RV headlights.”

The developer agreed to that change.



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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.