The fate of a three-tower project with more than 1,000 units in downtown will be in the hands of the City Commission on Tuesday.
City staff signed off on the proposed Riverparc Square on Sept. 4. However, Commissioner Steve Glassman asked for the project to be discussed publicly before it “goes right by” without anyone noticing until the cranes show up for the project, which will take up a city block.
“It’s significant in its size and scope,” Glassman said. “The public deserves the right to express their opinions about the project.”
So, now that it’s going to the City Commission, officials can decide “if we want to have a hearing on this project,” he said.
Developer Southside River LLC of Miami has proposed building 790 rental apartments and 297 hotel rooms at 501 S. Andrews Ave., on more than 3 acres of land across the street from a Publix supermarket.
“It’s a housing opportunity for folks to live close to where they work,” such as the state and federal courthouses and Broward Health Medical Center, said Robert Lochrie III, project attorney for developer Southside River LLC.
Southside River LLC, and it’s been a work in progress ever since, Lochrie said.
The plan calls for 44,698 square feet of retail space such as restaurants and shops on the ground floor, and almost 300,000 square feet of office space.
An existing 82,934-square-foot office building would need to be removed from the site.
The first tower is proposed at 43 stories; the second tower at 42 stories; and the third tower at 36 stories.
Despite its size, Riverparc Square wouldn’t be Fort Lauderdale’s tallest building. That honor still goes to the residential , which tops off at 46 stories.
This wouldn’t be the first time a project was pulled back at the last minute by the commission.
A controversial 21-story tower next to the Henry E. Kinney Tunnel was , and is . The 181-unit Alexan-Tarpon River residential tower would have risen at 501 SE Sixth Ave., just across the U.S. 1 tunnel from the Rio Vista single-family neighborhood, and across the river from the Stranahan House, the oldest structure in the county.
Said Glassman: “We’re looking at these projects with much more scrutiny.”
Still, Lochrie is confident that Riverparc Square is needed. “There’s certainly been requests for more retail and restaurants … as the population continues to grow. [This project calls for a] robust retail and restaurant component.”
Staff writer Brittany Wallman contributed to this report.
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