By Bryan Boggiano
The Planning and Zoning Board voted to send a favorable recommendation for granting special exceptions related to Cornerstone’s North Block to the city commission at their Monday, March 13, meeting.
Those exceptions pertain to the maximum first-floor heights for residential units, lot coverage, commercial and private frontage, and storefront character requirements.
Cornerstone will be a mixed-use property with 704 residential units and multiple retail and restaurant options in two separate buildings alongside the southwest corner of Sample Road and University Drive.
Due to changing market demand, Coral Sample, LLC, requested additional modifications to a previously approved special exception.
The plans for the under-construction South Block of Cornerstone remain essentially unchanged. In January, city officials projected construction of the 144-room Hyatt Hotel to start in March and for the rest of the South Block to be complete by July. However, modifications for the North Block include increasing the number of residential units from 0 to 353 and gutting all of the 195,210 square feet devoted to office space.
The previously approved 65,500 square feet for retail and commercial space would be modified to about 33,000 square feet of retail and museum space, which would be an art gallery. Roughly 24,000 and 8,100 square feet will be used for retail and museum space, respectively.
Due to these site plan modifications, Coral Sample, LLC, requested the changes.
Under city code, the maximum height for a first-floor residential development must be 14 feet. However, the new proposal for the North Block calls for the height to be 17 feet.
For lot coverage, 10 percent of the North Block’s property, or 27,185 square feet, must be green space. The updated proposal calls for five percent of the property to be green space — or 13,503 square feet.
The code allows for, at most, 244,655 square feet of lot coverage, but the new Cornerstone proposal dedicates 258,347 square feet of lot coverage.
City code states ground floor façades of buildings must have at least 40 percent of their length covered by windows. The west façade window coverage is at 24 percent.
Consequently, the blank wall area must not exceed 30 feet without being interrupted by a window or entry. The north façade blank wall length, however, would be 66 feet.
The city commission will vote on the Cornerstone special exceptions at an unspecified future meeting.
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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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