Downtown Lakeland’s first residential construction project in 10 years, NoBay Village, celebrated its grand opening Saturday.

  • Developer says 25 percent of units are leased
  • Complex also has retail space
  • Area residents have concerns about future parking issues

Tenants started moving into NoBay Village in September. Its developer, Broadway Real Estate Services, said about 25 percent of the 55 studio and townhome units are leased.

The complex also has retail space available on the bottom floors. So far, Uncle Nick’s Bagels, Subs and Deli and Jesse Carl Vinyl confirmed they are moving into the retail space.
While the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority toured the new apartments, Sally Ibarra said she was considering moving in.

“I like how modern it is. I like that they really put thought into the design,” Ibarra said.

The block used to be a city-owned parking lot.
Sammy Decker, who owns “The Purple Onion Deli and Grill” next door, likes the look of them.

“They look really nice. I hope it brings a lot of new faces and new people to the downtown area,” Decker said.
But she also expressed concern about parking, once the retail space is filled.

“I know that a restaurant is going in and a record store and I don’t think that there is additional parking for those businesses," Decker said. "So I think it’s going to create a lot of, you know, chaos whenever those businesses open and all the residents move in.”

It’s an issue the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority has been researching for awhile. Besides the 55 new apartment units, the downtown area is also getting Brazilian restaurant “Posto 9,” as well as Indian restaurant “Café Roti” by the end of the year. Café Roti is relocating downtown from the hospital area.

“We’re finally getting to the point where downtown is becoming a destination for dining and entertainment,” said Julie Townsend, the Executive Director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority.

To help alleviate some of the parking issues, Townsend hopes a valet parking service will be up and running in the downtown area by December.