The owner-operator of a Hollywood multifamily complex dusted off its old plan and won renewed approval to expand the property to 277 units, as demand for apartments heats up across South Florida.
Nautilus Apartments, a two-building, 193-unit rental complex at 3500 Washington Street, in the Hillcrest area of Hollywood, is set to grow by 84 units.
The Grosman family, doing business as Hollywood-based Automatic Investments (South), expects to spend a year completing a detailed site plan to obtain building permits. Then it will take a little more than a year to build the 84 apartments on the vacant south side of the Nautilus Apartments property, said Bryan Grosman, a director of Automatic Investments.
The family has owned the multifamily rental complex for almost 30 years. Property records show Automatic Investments paid $6.1 million in 1993 to acquire the complex, which was built in 1974.
The 118,360-square-foot expansion of Nautilus Apartments will cost an estimated $16.8 million and will conclude in the first quarter of 2024, according to a development application Automatic Investments filed with the city.
Automatic Investments charges below-market rents at its Hollywood multifamily properties to minimize tenant turnover and maximize occupancy, Grosman told the Hollywood City Commission on Wednesday. “It’s just how we operate our business,” he said. “We like to have our buildings remain full.”
None of the existing 193 units at Nautilus Apartments is vacant, according to Apartments.com, ApartmentFinder, and Zumper. According to Apartments.com, the lowest monthly rents for comparable apartments near Nautilus are $1,599 for a one-bedroom unit and $1,895 for a two-bedroom.
The Hollywood City Commission unanimously agreed Wednesday to renew several expired resolutions approving the expansion of Nautilus Apartments.
In 2013, the city commission rezoned the 8-acre Nautilus Apartments property from RM-25 (“high density, multiple family”) to PD (planned development district). The commission also passed resolutions approving a design and site plan for the Nautilus expansion, as well as a waiver from the standard 10-acre minimum for a planned development district in Hollywood.
The rezoning remains in place, but resolutions in support of the project had expired after the Grosman family chose to postpone its application for building permits due to weakness in Hollywood’s rental housing market after the Great Recession.
“Now the time is right. The time unfortunately wasn’t appropriate before,” said Akerman attorney Stephen Tilbrook, who represents Automatic Investments.
Among the 84 new units planned at Nautilus Apartments, 55 will have two bedrooms and 29 will have one bedroom, Grosman said. Rents for the new units have not yet been determined, he said.
Demand for apartments in South Florida has skyrocketed in recent months, as out-of-state residents flock to the area.
Miami led the U.S. in rent hikes during the pandemic, with the median rent spiking 58 percent to $2,988 per month in March, compared to March 2020, according to a Realtor.com report. That, in turn, has spurred a slew of multifamily project sales and prompted developers to build new projects.