New development planned for Crystal Beach

Savannah Chastain
A CAT Multi Terrain Loader and a company sign are the only signals that land at 137 Crystal Beach Drive is under development. The plot will soon be home to Crystal Beach Townhomes, a 42-unit rental development.

Development plans for a new housing project are on the books for 137 Crystal Beach Drive.

The townhome project is slated for a 3.37-acre parcel of land that sits between office buildings on the north side and the Destin Fire Control District’s Station10 on the south.

The Tier 1 project, headed up by Garrett and Michael McNeil of MB Real Estate Partners, will feature 42 rental units in a two or three-story building style.

The housing development is the third of its kind submitted to the city this year and marks a rise in the rental unit market.

“We are seeing a definite uptick on residential housing,” said Community Development Director Ken Gallander. “Overall the market must be dictating a need for that type of housing here — a little more of a dense type of product with the townhouses or the multi-family style.”

Gallander told The Log that this year Destin is seeing less of the detached, single-family homes being built and more multi-unit developments.

“What’s being proposed is for rental potential or permanent housing,” he said. “Overall the trend is on the upward swing.”

The McNeil brothers’ plan for the Crystal Beach development was submitted to the city July 18, and is currently in the early stages of review.

“The plans have been designed to compliment the Crystal Beach cottage look,” said Michael. “The architect is Jeff Prescott who is responsible for much of the character you see in Crystal Beach. The neighborhood will have a pool with a cabana, lush landscaping, a small park and sidewalks connecting to Crystal Beach Drive for easy walking access to the beach and nearby retail and restaurants.” 

Michael told The Log that the projected timeframe for the project is set to begin this fall with roads and infrastructure, and vertical construction will begin early next year. The townhomes are slated to be ready for use in late spring of 2015.

“This will be perfect for anyone looking for nice, maintenance free living with convenient access to the beach and all that Destin has to offer at a reasonable price,” said Michael.