A Brooklyn apartment developer looking to expand into new markets has chosen a site off Old Tampa Highway, drawn by increased demand for housing for workers at large west Lakeland warehousing and shipping centers.

Welcome Canary, a 160-unit apartment complex, broke ground last week at 1010 Browning Road. It is a project by Welcome Developments, the Lakeland subsidiary of Murex Enterprise in New York. It’s scheduled to be completed by October 2023.

According to Sruly Backman, the regional manager for Welcome Developments, the company chose west Lakeland for its most recent development because of the area’s growth. 

“With the expansion of local warehouses and the local airport shipping traffic increasing, we saw the increased demand for blue-collar employees who will need adequate housing opportunities. a demand we are excited to fill as best as we are able to,” he said.

Brooklyn-based Murex Enterprises was founded by brothers David and Shlomo Sinay. Their portfolio includes dozens of builds in Brooklyn, most of them ground-up renovations, according to the Welcome Developments’ website.

But they wanted to expand into other cities, Backman said. 

“More specifically growing cities where we feel we can add to the community to the best of our ability,” he said. And Lakeland fit the bill. 

Shlomo Sinay, a co-owner of Welcome Developments, speaks at the Welcome Canary groundbreaking ceremony last week.

“We saw a growing city with a high demand for new developments to house its growing population and expansions,” Backman said. “Throughout all of our visits to explore the city and meet with various officials and locals we fell in love with Lakeland and felt this was the place for us to invest in.”

Welcome picked West Lakeland for this project because it was a part of town “the community there can benefit most,” he said. 

“Our company’s mission is to enhance and preserve the community of Lakeland.” 

Backman added that Welcome is focusing all of its “Florida energies” in Lakeland. There are a few projects in the pipeline, too, but further details on those aren’t yet available. 

Design and construction are being handled by two Lakeland firms: The Lunz Group for architecture and Strickland Construction for general contracting.

The complex will consist of 160 market-rate apartments in four three-story buildings, a clubhouse and a pool, according to Backman and The Lunz Group.

Renderings from The Lunz Group and The Apiary.
Click on any any image for a larger version.

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Katie Sartoris has been a resident of Lakeland and Central Florida since 2004. She is a freelance journalist and the former Local News Editor with the Daily Commercial in Leesburg.

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