Saturday, April 19, 2014
(Continued from page 1)
Earlier this year, the city provided Federated, which has offices in Miami and Boston, with a $9.07 million grant to help pay for construction of the $15 million 700-space parking garage.
Of that $9.07 million, $8.2 million would come from a low-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city would be responsible for repaying the loan and an estimated $2.8 million in interest from property tax revenues.
Developers need some zoning changes to build the project as envisioned.
There are two separate zoning districts for the property, one limiting height to a maximum of 125 feet (with a possible 165 feet if conditions are met); the other limiting height to 55 feet (with a possible 105 feet, if conditions are met).
Much of the project is being proposed in the more restrictive zoning district, so the developer is recommending rezoning that land to allow for the taller buildings.
The developer is also asking the city to waive the conditions that would be required to increase the height limit to 165 feet, such as reducing setbacks and top-floor design standards meant to minimize the shadowing effects and preserve view corridors.
"The implication for Maritime Landing is that the upper stories of the building would have limited floor area because of the step backs, which would have an impact on total number of dwelling units," the staff wrote.
The developer is also asking the city to approve a master plan for the project, even though one is not required.
That change would extend the allowed time frame for development from the current requirement that construction start within one year (with a possible three-year extension) to allowing it to start within four years (with two, one-year extensions possible).
The developers are also altering their plan in light of the Somerset Street flood that resulted when a 20-inch water main ruptured several weeks ago. Now, developers are looking to increase the base height of their buildings to be 12 feet above high tide.
Even with the delays, Shinberg said Federated Cos. is eager to get the project under way.
"We're really on course to start this project as soon as possible," Shinberg said. "We have a very aggressive schedule but we also have to respect the process."
Staff Writer Randy Billings can be contacted at 791-6346 or at: