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Downtown Orlando tower receives OK for 36% fewer parking spots

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, has passed another hurdle, gaining the City of Orlando Board of Zoning Adjustment approval to build 36 percent fewer parking spaces than required.

The building is planned to have 450 residential units and 13,464 square feet of commercial, mixed use and a detached garage. Its owner, HHH Reilly Fund LLC of Boca Raton asked and received a parking reduction variance to provide 478 parking spaces versus the 735 required by the city.

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One board member, Elizabeth Tuura, said typically more parking is needed, not less, and asked how all the residents in the building would be accommodated without causing a traffic nightmare, according to the May 26 meeting minutes.

The tower's location at 110 Jefferson St. is near several public transportation options, others at the meeting pointed out. There are also nearby garages across the railroad tracks that could be used for overflow parking. A SunRail Station is nearby, as is the Lymmo system, and there's the Lynx Central Terminal, as well as the Orlando Urban Trail and additional bicycle parking near.

The parking variance was approved unanimously by the Board.

The building residential density is already greater than currently allowed on the 1.39-acre site. The city staff said the density "bonus" of 324 units is acceptable because it encourages housing opportunities in downtown that might not be provided otherwise.

The next step for the Orlando Central project is a hearing on the Master Plan before the Municipal Planning Board on June 16. From there it moves to City Council for approval in the form of meeting minutes on July 13.

tburney@growthspotter.com or 407-420 6261

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