A new type of rental community has arrived in Southwest Florida.
Odyssey by Saltura welcomed its first tenants in July. The 129-unit community is already 25% leased off Forum Boulevard in Fort Myers.
Danville Leadbetter’s company purchased approximately 12 acres in February 2021 for $650,000. The oddly shaped piece of the property, long and narrow, worked perfectly for the concept of building separate apartment units.
“It’s one of those things that’s in the middle,” Leadbetter said. “The city of Fort Myers was great. We sat down with them very quickly. You really have to sit down with the staff, with the players, and make sure they understand what it is.
“Instead of building one big building with all the units, we’re rebuilding that building, putting those units on the ground, putting up four walls around them.”
Like a luxury apartment complex, the Odyssey has a fitness center, a dog park, and a pool. Unlike a typical apartment complex, each unit has its own four walls and a backyard.
The concept is new to the region, but not nationally, Leadbetter said, as few products of this type have been available in California for the past decade.
“It started after the recession and distressed assets started drying up,” he said. “There was still a huge investor appetite for rental communities.”
Monthly rents are competitive with those of other luxury, traditional apartment complexes. 750-square-foot one-bedroom rentals start at $1,994 per month, 1,031-square-foot two-bedroom/two-bath leases for $2,594 and 1,245-square-foot three bedrooms/two baths for $3,199 per month. There are 40 one-bedroom units, 57 two-bedroom and 32 three-bedroom.
In May, Leadbetter’s company purchased another 11.71 acres between Interstate 75 and Champion Ring Road for $3 million. That land near Forum Boulevard will become Phase 2 of the project and will be called Altair by Saltura, which will consist of 160 units, some of which will be two stories.
A third location in Fort Myers, near Veronica Shoemaker Boulevard and Schoolhouse Road, is being approved and plans are underway for a third project of the same concept.
“It was a good piece to start with,” Leadbetter said of Odyssey. “As you pointed out, it’s kind of linear. It’s just a long rectangle. It allows us to find the space between the units.”
Leadbetter said he never expected to be the pioneer of a new type of apartment living in Southwest Florida.
Others are on the way. Marquesa Capital Partners Just broke ground on Gulf Coast villas, a 140-unit rental community that should welcome its first tenants off Aliso Road about a year from now.
“It feels great,” Leadbetter said of pioneering the concept. “When we first went into it, I was surprised it wasn’t already in Florida. We had this little window where apartment people were doing apartments, and housebuilders were coming into the rental space , but they were just renting their product. It was fun to be able to change it. For us, there wasn’t a lot of competition. It’s coming now. But we started this concept. We’ve been very consistent.” D