A slightly more streamlined version of Lincoln Property Company’s proposed Church Street Plaza tower 2 won Master Plan approval Tuesday from Orlando’s Municipal Planning Board, along with another downtown tower and a vacation home resort on International Drive.
The MPB overlooked objections from the owners of a neighboring restaurant to advance the 400-foot tower at 225 S. Garland Avenue, just north of the first tower that’s wrapping construction now. The MP also includes the third phase of the project, which includes the conversion of the Cheyenne Saloon space into a food hall called “Bumby Arcade.”
“What we have here is a very significant project for downtown and it will be transformative for this corridor,” board chairman Jonathan Huels said.
The 32-story tower will have 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail uses with an outdoor courtyard linking it to the SunRail station and food hall. It will have a 577-space parking garage, 209 hotel rooms and nearly 60,000 square feet of ballroom and meeting space. It also will have 19 residential units, that could potentially be converted to hotel rooms, and 210,5000 square feet of office space.
The tower is not subject to Appearance Review Board jurisdiction, but it must clear the city’s Historic Preservation Board to gain permits. Wayne Dunkelberger, creative director for Baker Barrios Architects, described the vision for the second tower, which has been redesigned from the initial concept to provide more a reference architecture of the past.
“We looked at the site as a metaphor for past, present and future,” he said. The design is meant to evoke the shape of a classic 1920s-era office building from the side that faces the SunRail station and transform into a modern, almost futuristic design at the northern elevation.
“It really has no front or back – it’s all sides,” Dunkleberger said. He said the firm is still adding details to the final design, which will be presented to the Historic Preservation Board later this year.
Lincoln Properties VP Scott Stahley told the board the company plan to invest over $400 million in the combined project. Because it’s slated to receive a density bonus, Lincoln will be required to submit an enhanced landscaping plan, provide a public art component and conform to strict design criteria.
This wasn’t the only big-ticket project that got a green light from the MPB.
Boca Raton developer David Hirschfeld won approval from the board for his $62 million DXV Central tower at the corner of Central Boulevard and Division Avenue in Parramore. The 17-story mixed-use tower received a positive reception last month from the ARB during its courtesy review.
The MPB approved Hirschfeld’s rezoning request for the tower, which will include ground-floor retail uses, a valet-served parking garage, offices and 189 apartments – most of which are studio units ranging from 402 to 582 square feet – with rents starting at $850.
The construction schedule would rely on pre-leasing of a significant portion of the commercial office space, Hirschfeld told GrowthSpotter.
Finally, the board approved a Planned Development (PD) amendment requested by Lennar Homes, the contract buyer for the bulk of a 77-acre vacant parcel on International Drive, between Dezerland (formerly Artegon mall) and the Tangelo Park neighborhood.
The new resort, dubbed Storey Drive, closely mimics its Storey Lake community, with a mix of short-term rental condominiums, vacation homes and townhomes surrounding a massive amenity center with its own restaurant and water park. The plan calls for 62 detached homes of up to 5,000 square feet on 50-foot lots, according to Planned Development Amendment. With this product, Lennar hopes to cater to groups and extended families that are now vacationing in Kissimmee and Four Corners.
It would have 200 vacation townhomes and 240 resort condos. All would be categorized as commercial dwelling units, which allow for a maximum rental period of 120 days.
Plans for the 8-acre commercial outparcel have not been submitted, but the city staff insisted that Lennar build a north-south road connection from that parcel to the Dezerland complex. Poulos & Bennett’s Heather Isaacs asked that the requirement be waived until the commercial site is developed, citing the restraint on the property owner and the cost of bridging a drainage canal that separates the two properties.
But city staff said the neighborhood must have two access points to meet the land development code, and they wanted the commercial property connected to Dezerland, which is also going to be home to hundreds of new apartments and expanded retail uses. Plus, it would give the resort guests easy access to the movie theater, shopping and restaurants at Dezerland without having to use I-Drive.
“There is a benefit to this,” Assistant Planning Director Jason Burton said. “It may not be obvious, but you’re proposing 510 units with one point of access. It doesn’t meet our code. This isn’t Osceola County, where you develop a pod with one access point. This is an urban environment, and we want it to be integrated.”
The committee agreed instead to a delay, requiring Lennar (or the commercial developer) to plat the road before receiving its 250th building permit and the road must be completed before Lennar receives its 350th certificate of occupancy.
The inital design also showed road connections to the south, but they were removed because of resistance from the Tangelo Park community. Isaacs also showed images of the proposed 10-foot solid wall that would surround the community. She said Storey Drive’s homeowners’ association would be responsible for maintaining the wall and the 20-foot landscaped buffer between the wall and Tangelo Park.
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