Update: “Sonesta Project” on Key Biscayne

 COUNCIL APPROVES SITE PLAN FOR FORMER SONESTA PROPERTY

 

­Key Biscayne Council members voted unanimously Monday, August 21, to approve developer Consultatio Key Biscayne LLC’s new site plan for the 350 Ocean Drive property. (The former site of The Sonesta Hotel).

As Consultatio Chairman Eduardo Costantini told local leaders, the new site plan significantly downsizes the project the Council approved in 2007 in order to address concerns about mass and impact on neighbors. “If you approve this project, I think it’s going to be a superb project. We’ll look forward to working together as a team,” he said.

Site plan complies

The project’s 646,415 square feet of livable space equals a Floor Area Ratio (FAR) of 1.435; a FAR of 2.0, or 899,863 square feet, is allowed. Maximum lot coverage is 40 percent, or 179,972 square feet; Consultatio’s plan shows 35.7 percent coverage, or a 160,630-square-foot footprint.

The project also eases in below density caps: Projects with this zoning  can have 16 residential units per acre, meaning 165 units on the 10.5-acre Sonesta lot; Consultatio proposes 154 units, or 15 per acre.

Elsewhere, the proposed project meets height caps of 150 feet; more importantly, Consultatio vastly exceeds rear setback requirements of 25 feet, meaning the 150-foot buildings are far from neighboring single-family homes. The project’s west rear setback, the one that impacts Holiday Colony (the east rear setback is from the ocean), comes in at 393 feet, 11 inches.

Only 12 freestanding villas would sit within that nearly 394-foot area, Kurlancheek said, and the villas are capped at 35 feet in height, the same as single-family homes. “There’s a 50-foot setback until you get to the villas themselves,” he added.

Consultatio was able to move the bulk of its development further back by eliminating two of the original four towers. The new design features two 14-level towers linked by a shorter structure that features 10 levels worth of condo units atop a three-story high open breezeway.

Open space

A key condition states the Village must be in compliance with its Comprehensive Plan standard of 2.5 acres of open space per 1,000 residents before it can issue a Certificate of Occupancy for the 15-story residential tower. Or, the Village and Consultatio can sign a binding contract stating the open space facilities will be completed within a year of the CO being issued.They state Consultatio will grant the Village two 25-foot-wide public beach access paths, one on the north side of the property from Ocean Drive and the other on the south side of the property from East Heather Drive. Both paths will include improvements like paving and landscaping.

Helfman added Consultatio’s plan includes a $7 million voluntary contribution to the Village’s Land Trust, a fund set up for the sole purpose of acquiring public land, plus another $1.5 million toward improvements at the Key Biscayne Community Center or another recreational need.

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