Alabama developer Michael Spiker scrapped his plans for a 150-unit apartment complex in the City of Gulf Breeze when three dozen residents turned out Thursday evening to oppose the idea at a meeting he arranged.
Spiker sought to soothe residents’ concerns by describing his plans for “high end” rentals that would appeal to “young professionals and retirees” who would pay in the range of $1,200 to $1,300 a month.
But when several in the audience criticized the project, proposed on land that Spiker’s company owns behind the shopping center anchored by the Neighborhood Walmart, he immediately offered what he said were “alternatives.” Those included retail outlets, a movie theater and a product distribution center.
“You’re trying to scare us with the alternatives,” said resident Robert Price. “But the alternatives don’t scare us.”
Spiker acknowledged that he would need community support because he would have to ask Gulf Breeze City Council to rezone the property to residential from commercial.
“You’ve spoken. I hear you,” said Spiker. “Right now my thought process is to go back to the drawing board.”