2021.04.01 county commission wreckers cay ground

The 280-unit Wreckers Cay condo project planned along Maloney Avenue on Stock Island is among the many current developments coming to the Florida Keys.

The building permits have been issued and work in earnest has begun on the Lower Keys’ largest affordable housing project in five decades.

Developers of the Wreckers Cay project on Stock Island expect to have some of the 280 units of affordable housing built within 13 months, with other units coming online shortly after that and the project completed within 18 months, the developers attorney, Bart Smith, said.

Workers are currently doing site work, which includes digging and laying foundations, he said.

“It’s full bore,” Smith said.

Late last month, the developers, Integra Investments of Miami, held a ceremonial ground-breaking event with members of the Monroe County Commission.

In 2018, Integra purchased the Tropic Palms, Water’s Edge and Snead Property mobile home parks on Stock Island and demolished the parks to make room for Wreckers Cay. The project was first met with resistance in the community, as the residents of the trailer parks were evicted to make room for the newer units, but financial arrangements were made to compensate park residents to help them finance new accommodations.

The affordable housing project is a mix of income levels, with 70 low-income, 98 median-income and 112 moderate-income units.

“We will never have enough housing, but with this project and the others that have recently come online and ones that are coming online, we will have a sufficient amount,” said Monroe County Commission Craig Cates, who represents Stock Island.

Units continue to be added to the second-largest affordable housing project in the Keys, the 208-unit Quarry Apartments on Big Coppitt Key. The latest phase of the Quarry project is underway with 57 more units of affordable rental units being placed there now, Smith said.

That project is slated to be completed within the next two months, Smith said.

City of Key West officials are hoping to soon start construction on the 104-unit affordable workforce housing development called Garden View Apartments on College Road.

The project has been stalled as the city has had to test and remove soil contaminated by pesticides from when the property housed the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District offices, equipment and supplies.