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Orlando Central Tower is up for planning approval.
Orlando Central Tower is up for planning approval.

Orlando Central, a proposed 31-story mixed-use development in downtown Orlando, is up for approval at the City of Orlando's Municipal Planning Board May 19.

City planners are recommending the board approve plans for the high rise on a current parking lot at 110 W. Jefferson St. The project owner is listed as H.H. Reilly Fund LLC.

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With 450 housing units, 13,464 square feet of commercial space, and a detached parking garage with 478 spaces, the plan includes more residential units per acre than is currently allowed on the 1.39-acre site.

The city says the density "bonus" is 324 units. Greater density is acceptable, planners say, because it encourages housing opportunities in downtown that might not be provided otherwise.

However, city plan reviewers have set some conditions for the W. Jefferson St. development, a number of them aesthetic. For instance, the plans for the N. Garland Ave. façade doesn't meet "transparency" requirements because there would be mechanical equipment behind the façade wall, so planners suggest the blank wall space be used as a mural or public art space.

Then there are the worries about the "crown" of the building, which city planners seem to find lacking.

"The intent should be to create a signature crown that makes the top of the Orlando Central tower a distinctive addition to the downtown skyline, both during the day and night," planners note in the city documents.

"Residents and visitors should be able to look upon the tower from both near and far and be able to say, 'That's the Orlando Central tower.'"

Arquitectonica is the building's architect.

tburney@growthspotter.com or 407-420 6261

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