By Sallie James
A seven-story, 70-unit luxury condominium will soon rise on the southwest corner of South Ocean Drive and East Palmetto Park Road, with sprawling penthouses, 8-foot-wide sidewalks and a public park along Palmetto Park Road.
The Ocean Palm project, reviewed and recommended for approval twice by the Planning and Zoning Board, got the green light at the Oct. 24 City Council meeting.
“Public access to greenways [and] to the parks; very strong reduction in traffic to what could have been built there; breaks in the building,” noted Deputy Mayor Jeremy Rodgers. “This is all stuff that will improve the area around the beach.”
The project even got the stamp of approval from the often-critical Riviera Civic Association, which worked with the developer on various issues, including traffic. The association represents homeowners in the surrounding areas.
“We’re in support of it,” said Mark Simmons, a board member of the association.
The project is slated to be 75 feet high and include four penthouse units; 20 two-story, three-bedroom units of 2,000 square feet; 32 two-bedroom units of 1,855 square feet; and 14 three-bedroom end units of 4,400 square feet. Each unit will have a private enclosed garden or balcony area as well.
Other amenities include nine parallel parking spots along East Palmetto Park Road, bicycle racks and benches, and a linear public park/walkway along Palmetto Park Road and Southwest Wavecrest Way, which Ocean Palm will maintain.
“I think this will be a benefit to our entire community,” said Mayor Susan Haynie.
But the vice president of the nearby Marbella condominium complained residents there were never consulted about the project.
Carrie McGuirk said the seven-story building would cast shadows on their 20-story high rise, located south of East Palmetto Park Road on A1A, and block residents’ views to the northeast.
Bonnie Miskel, attorney for the Ocean Palm developer, said she repeatedly tried to contact condo owners there but never received a response.
Council member Andrea Levine O’Rourke reminded McGuirk that the property owner had a right to build the project based on the land use designation. Ú