By Bryan Boggiano
The city commission is set to discuss developments related to the Cornerstone project at their Wednesday meeting.
Coral Sample, LLC, is requesting the city to approve a special exception to the land development code related to maximum floor heights, frontage requirements, and ground-floor active use requirements for parking garages facing streets for Cornerstone.
The city previously approved a special exception for Cornerstone on Feb. 19, 2020, but since then, the proposed site plan has changed, affecting mainly the North Block.
That block now includes a new medical office building and residential building due to changing market conditions. The South Block remains unchanged, according to city documents.
Originally, the North Block did not have any proposed residential units. Now, there are 174 proposed condos. The originally proposed 65,000 square feet of retail/commercial space was cut to 15,400 square feet. The planned office space is now about 75,000 square feet, down from the 195,000 square feet initially proposed.
According to the city, residential properties cannot have a first floor more than 14 feet high, while nonresidential properties cannot exceed 20 feet. But, the residential building’s first-floor height is 16 feet.
The upper-floor heights are proposed at 13 feet for the medical building, but the land development code only permits 12 feet. Coral Sample LLC claims it is vital for medical space, according to city documents.
The company also proposed design changes to the plaza’s exterior along Sample Road.
The city requires that a parking garage facing a street have the ground floor developed with enclosed residential, commercial, or civic floor space along all sides of a structure, at least 30 feet into the building with street frontage.
This rule does not apply when a garage is separated from a street or driveway by a building, parking lot, or landscape space at least 20 feet in depth.
In the updated proposal, the garage entrance continues along Sample Road in the two buildings. There will be lobbies and co-work spaces on the east and west corners of the building.
While this will ensure the building meets city regulations, city staff plan to request a special exception so that the garages can be screened to ensure that vehicles in the garages are not visible, according to documents.
The proposed property also would not meet certain commercial frontage zone requirements. It would have ground-floor transparency of less than 60 percent and having openings more than 20 feet apart.
According to city documents, the proposed plan calls for about 75,000 square feet of office, 32,723 feet for commercial use, a 138-unit Hyatt hotel, and 525 residential units.
At the Oct. 13 Economic Development Advisory Committee meeting, city leaders discussed a 144-room hotel and up to 576 residential spaces.
The city projects that Cornerstone will be complete by 2023.
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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