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Project style change suits commission

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Developers of the Marina condo-retail complex redraw their building to mesh better with Main Street’s look. By MEGAN SCOTT Published October 7, 2005 DUNEDIN – A local developer returned to the commission Thursday with a brand new drawing and a new style name to describe his proposed downtown urban center. The drawings showed colorful awnings and shutters, metal roof elements, and coral stone and mahogany detail along Main Street. The style was described as “Classic Florida Coastal Architecture,” not “contemporary,” the term the developer used last month to describe his condo-retail mix, to the displeasure of some commissioners who felt the previous design wasn’t in keeping with downtown’s atmosphere. “We have spent quite a bit of time responding to the environment so that this ties in the commercial Main Street with the waterfront,” said architect Stephanie Gaines, as she showed commissioners several drawings on Thursday. “We have also further enhanced the building with a clock tower,” she said. “On Victoria Drive, we have some similar details with the shutters and railings. All very similar to Main Street.” The new drawings, along with the promise to build what is in those drawings, prompted commissioners to unanimously approve the project, called the Marina, planned for the corner of Victoria Drive and Main Street. The company building the project, Prime Dunedin, includes Richard Gehring, Bill Kimpton and Jim Egnew. They intend to replace the aging Bay Palms motel and Sun Blest Apartments with four floors of upscale condos over 10,000 square feet of retail. The developers also want to restore a 1920s home on the site and use it as a recreation center. Commissioners had repeatedly said they did not like the building’s appearance, and also expressed concern about the traffic. Commissioner Deborah Kynes even got into a back-and-forth discussion last month with Gehring over the definition of “contemporary style.” The commission wound up approving the final site plan, contingent on the subsequent approval of architectural design and traffic mitigation measures. There were no detailed drawings at that meeting, and the architect was not present. Commissioners seemed satisfied on Thursday with the drawings and the plan proposed to address the traffic issues. While Mayor John Doglione expressed concern that the clock tower will make the building taller, the height is allowed under the code, said Kevin Campbell, director of community services. “I think what we’re asking is for the renderings to be a substantial representation proportionally as well as visually what will be done,” said Commissioner Bob Hackworth. “By having this proportional, we’ll be able to hold you to this.” As for the traffic, the city hired a consultant to study the intersection and a plan has been submitted to the state Department of Transportation for approval, said Campbell. The consultant proposed redistributing traffic by making changes to the median at the intersection of Alt. U.S. 19 and Main Street. That would create another turn lane for people headed into the urban center. Megan Scott can be reached at 445-4167 or mscott@sptimes.com Source: http://www.sptimes.com/2005/10/07/Northpinellas/Project_style_change_.shtml
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