This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
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The Planning and Zoning Board approved a proposed ordinance on Thursday, March 23 relating to use of three parcels of land on the south west corner of A1A and East Palmetto Park Road. This approval allows for the construction of a 70 unit Condominium Complex called Ocean Palm.
The proposed project is to occupy an area from East Palmetto Park Road on the North to East Palm Avenue on the South; from A1A to the East and Wave Crest Way on the West.
City leaders and staff directed developer Ramon Llorens to work directly with the surrounding communities before making any submittal. Mr. Llorens was good to his word, reaching out to the Riviera Civic Association and its Board.
The residential community and Mr. Llorens along with local architect, Jorge Garcia, worked for over a year to reach an outcome suitable to all. At the outset, both parties agreed to consider the needs of the other. Both sides made considerable concessions.
For example, the original proposal called for a 110′, 200 room hotel in combination with 70 condominiums and a restaurant contained within the structures 10 stories. Through negotiation, the building will be 6 stories and condominium units only. The net number of additional condominium units in the building will be 50 added to the 20 existing units on the property for a total of 70 units.
Significantly important are the setbacks on all four sides of the building which near 65′ for the east and west walls and 45′ for the north and south walls creating a “park like setting” open to the public. This is a first in an area close to or in the downtown. This prominent consideration for green space will provide an enjoyable walking experience around the structure. Additionally the neighborhood received assurance from the developer, architect and P&Z Board: efforts will be made to prevent access to the building by driving through the adjacent neighborhood, Por La Mar. Residents thank the City traffic engineers for their input and consideration.
- Net 50 additional condominium units as the 20 owners in the Breakers will be offered units in the new building
- A residential building producing less traffic than would office, hotel, retail or restaurant combined.
- Setbacks providing a park like setting open to the public.
- Condominium units ranging in size from ~2,000 sq ft to 5,000sq ft.
- A building height similar to the Meridian to the north creating symmetry to the eastern skyline from the Palmetto Park Bridge.
- A residential project more compatible with surrounding neighborhoods.
The effort, fostered by the City, insisting a developer getting and earning residential involvement, sets a precedent and tone for any current or future development in Boca Raton. Residents must insist on their place at the table and negotiate in good faith to reach a common ground. Land Owners and developers must realize that being a good neighbor and building community welcomes cooperation and project support from the affected residents.
The efforts of Government, residents and business to work together for a satisfactory outcome is a Win-Win for all and serves to promote the feeling of “community”, which from my observation, is long in coming.