An investment firm plans to build a 600-unit multifamily development in northern Charlotte County near the North Port border.

Applicant Michael Petrikowsky, the principal owner of Palladium Investment Company LLC of Toms River, New Jersey, and St. Petersburg, submitted a preliminary plan to build the multifamily development at 21301 Hillsborough Blvd. about 4 miles east of U.S. 41 and about 4 miles west of Interstate 75 in Port Charlotte.

The proposed development built on 31.86 county-owned acres, which was assessed at $4,054,500, would continue to move the county forward in its push to add more housing for its residents.

In 2022, the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners approved a purchase and sale agreement with Palladium Investment to build the development containing a mix of both affordable and attainable apartments. In return for making units available for affordable housing for at least 30 years, Palladium received the parcel between Hillsborough and Veterans boulevards, impact fee credits and utility connections with a combined value of up to $13.3 million.

The project, which has the working name of Bachman Property, is planned in two phases, and the site plan is currently under review. Utilities will be provided by Charlotte County Utilities.

The Board of County Commissioners have been discussing the county’s labor shortage and the urgent need for affordable and workforce housing for years.

With Sunseeker Resort Charlotte Harbor nearing completion and planning to hire about 1,200 workers before its opening in the fourth quarter of this year, the county faces the problem of needing more multifamily housing units in an area that was platted decades ago for single-family residential lots.

The housing crisis in the area worsened after Hurricane Ian a year ago, which displaced renters and homeowners. Some rental units were destroyed or deemed uninhabitable, which caused some to flee the county and others to resort to living in residential vehicles on vacant lots, which is illegal in the county.

Naples investor Scott True, a principal in Tarpon Plaza LLC, said he and fellow investors have been buying up and rehabilitating older Port Charlotte homes, within a couple of miles of the Sunseeker Resort, that were built in the 1960s. The homes are now being offered for rent.