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Flacks Group to demolish Lakeland Sears building for apartments – GrowthSpotter

Flacks Group is currently building a Nottinghill apartment community in Davenport

Miami-based private-equity firm The Flacks Group is under contract to buy the closed Sears building attached to Lakeland Square Mall to create 320 apartments on 11 acres along U.S. 98 and Interstate 4.

The Flacks Group is expanding its Nottinghill brand currently under construction in Davenport on 7 acres at Davenport Boulevard and 10th Street. Sears closed the Lakeland store in 2018 following a Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The struggling retailer is closing that last of its stores a year after being brought out of bankruptcy.

Seritage Growth Properties, based in New York City, is selling the Lakeland property, which Flacks hopes to close on by mid-September, even before the company applies for rezoning, Jordan Desnick, director and shareholder, told GrowthSpotter. Company officials have been talking with city planners about the project, he said.

“The City of Lakeland has been great to work with and we look forward to continuing to work with the city officials on developing a best-in-class multifamily property,” Michael Flacks, chairman of The Flacks Group told GrowthSpotter in an email.

This would be the latest in a string of mall redevelopments in Central Florida where new apartments replace empty department stores. Similar projects are underway at Seminole Towne Center in Sanford and the Volusia Mall in Daytona Beach.

The Sears building at Lakeland Mall would be demolished for the new construction. A site plan by Winter Park-based FK Architecture shows a mix of three- and four-story apartment buildings; a 4,800-square-foot ground level clubhouse; a circular entry court; pool and amenities deck; cabanas; a yoga garden; a gazebo; a dog park; and a community lawn and events area. The development matrix breaks down to 199 one-bedroom units, 106 two-bedroom units and 15 three-bedroom units.

A conceptual site plan calls for 320 luxury apartments with amenities such as a pool, cabanas, dog park and event lawn. (Site Plan courtesy of FK Architecture)

“They will be a little bit higher end” than Nottinghill Davenport, Desnick said. “Davenport doesn’t have balconies and has a limited amenity set.”

At Nottinghill Davenport “everything is framed and the roofs are going on,” Desnick said. The 132-unit community should be completed by the fourth quarter, he said. The company closed on a $20.1 million loan from Dwight Mortgage Trust for the project.

Flacks Group, with assets of more than $2 billion, previously announced plans for a sister Nottinghill community in Lakeland, but that location fell through, Desnick said. “There were issues with the land so we walked away,” he said. “We never got this far; it wasn’t the right property for us.”

Location is key to the Nottinghill community, Flacks said. “The property’s location is unmatched and creating a great living experience with incredible amenities next to Lakeland Square Mall will be very appealing to the community,” he said.

In addition to the mall, which includes a movie theater and Dillard’s as anchors, the area is surround by shops restaurants.

“It’s a bustling area, but it doesn’t have much multi-family,” Desnick said. “Hopefully, this will help the mall too.”

Flacks Group has hired Mark Wilson at Kimley-Horn as the engineer and Bart Allen at Peterson Myers as attorney.

“The property’s location is unmatched and creating a great living experience with incredible amenities next to Lakeland Square Mall will be very appealing to the community,” Flacks said.