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Longboat Key staff recommends approval of St. Regis revised parking plan

Commissioners expected to discuss, vote a second time on residential and resort proposal.

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  • | 10:04 a.m. October 18, 2021
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Longboat Key staffers recommend approval of a revised parking plan for the proposed Residences at the St. Regis Longboat Key Resort, adding more than 60 mechanical lift devices in the hotel’s valet garage plans to meet town capacity regulations.

 Town Commissioners are scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, for a second vote on the project’s planned-unit development application and final site plan, the last step before developer Unicorp National Developments can begin pursuing building permits.

Commissioners gathered Oct. 6 for initial discussion and a vote on a package of revisions to Unicorp’s original 2018 approval from the town. Though questions about parking issues and the placement of beachside amenities were raised by commissioners BJ Bishop and Debra Williams, the PUD application was approved 4-1 and the site plan was approved 3-2.

Two days later, the town discovered that while Unicorp met the required number of parking spaces (407), the balance between spaces in the residential portion of the development and the hotel was amiss.

Town regulations required 107 residential spaces and 298 for the hotel. Unicorp’s original mix was 169 residential spaces and 236 in the hotel.  

Following a conference call between the town and Unicorp representatives on Oct. 8, two days after the Town Commission meeting, Unicorp proposed solving the imbalance with 62 mechanical vehicle lifts in its hotel valet garage, adding capacity to 299 to meet town standards without changing the footprint of the building. Town documents indicate the garage’s proposed ceiling is high enough to accommodate the lifts without design modification.

 Residential parking capacity remained the same at 169 spaces.

Town Commissioners on Oct. 6 also voted to allow a beachfront bar to be located closer to the state’s erosion control line than normally allowed, 108.3 feet instead of 150 feet, though they also denied a request to build an event pavilion 73.9 feet from the line instead of 150. At the time, Unicorp said it would move the pavilion to another location.

On Oct. 6, Commissioner Sherry Dominick recused herself from voting because of her business relationship with Michael Saunders & Co., the real estate sales representative for the St. Regis Project. Commissioner Maureen Merrigan was not present at the meeting, though is expected to return for the Oct. 20 vote.

Unicorp’s proposal, years in the making following the demise of the Colony Beach & Tennis Resort, is expected to bring about $1.5 million addition in tax revenue to the town and bring activity to the 17.6 acre-site, vacant since the 2018 demolition of the former resort’s buildings.

The condo complex will have 67 units arrayed in three five story buildings on the south side of the property. The 166-room hotel will be built on the north end, featuring two restaurants, a beach grill and three bars. Additionally, a ballroom with seating for 425 is planned, along with six meeting rooms and two board rooms.

Unicorp has scheduled an invitation-only groundbreaking ceremony on the beach at 10 a.m., Oct. 25. Completion of the project is expected in 2024.


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