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Tampa Tribune Staff, November 6, 2014

DADE CITY — For nearly four decades it was not uncommon to see sandbags piled up at the Dade Oaks apartments to prevent floodwater from entering the homes. The 69-unit housing complex was built at the bottom of a drainage basin in Dade City in 1977.

On Wednesday, officials from the Pasco County Housing Authority and development firm Gorman & Co. hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the apartments that will replace the 37-year-old, dilapidated complex, the Hilltop Landings Apartments construction project. The new apartment complex, 15641 14th St. in Dade City, will be less than a mile away from Dade Oaks and outside the drainage basin.

Hilltop Landings will have the same floor plan as Dade Oaks, but the finished project will feature more modern, energy-efficient units. The construction is expected to take 18 months. Dade Oaks residents will move to the new complex upon its completion.

Dade Oaks eventually will be demolished and used for stormwater retention.