Thursday, July 22, 2010

Tiger 2 Grant Application Goes Forward

Last night in Wilton Manors Commission chambers, there was a Special Commission Meeting discussing the Tiger 2 Grant application.  The Pre-Application was approved by an Unanimous vote of all Commissioners and the Mayor.

The Gables team with Pasquale Architects presented an interesting plan that would be their donation in kind of $2.5 Million.  What they would need for this is a 65 to 85 year lease on the property to pay for their donation.  Gables would build a Parking Garage with wrap-around residential and ground floor commercial property.

The plot would not effect any existing amenities at the adjacent Hagen park. The existing tennis courts, volleyball court and buildings are safe. 

The plan for the development would be a building that is as tall as the neighboring Gables Wilton Park complex.  The building would be disguised by a raked back frontage on Wilton Drive and the parking garage would be hidden from view by the surrounding ground floor commercial and higher level of residential units.  These would be built to a higher standard than the existing development and would incorporate significant Green Technologies for lighting and construction so they will be as efficient as possible. 

It looks like Gables is here for the long haul and wants to do it right for and by the City of Wilton Manors.

The Specifics are:
120 residential rental units.
5,000 square feet of commercial units.
4,000 square feet of civic space.
175 parking spaces for the City to use as we see fit
150 to 160 parking spaces for Gable to use for the development.
The Veteran's Memorial will be moved to the civic area and an amphitheater and  fountain will be built on site.

An important issue is that Gables intends for this property to be taxable to the proportion that they control.  Wilton Manors will be getting back tax revenue on this property every year that it is there.

The project will take 6 to 10 months for permitting, another 18 months for construction. 

If we do not get the Grant, this project will not bind the City to the agreement. 

This is wonderful news for Wilton Manors.   Basically this project specification allows us to apply for the 10 million dollar grant.  We can then proceed to plan out what we want to do to it.  All improvements are limited to Wilton Drive and adjacent properties.  $10 Million is a lot to spend on a mile of road, but I'm sure we can do it.  A second parking garage at the North end has been suggested.

We have been handed the key to the lock.  Next step is the full application which will be placing the lock in the door.   Getting the grant is not a definite thing.  In the later budget meeting it was described as a being as likely as a lightning strike, but like in the lottery you have to play to win.

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