Public meeting Tuesday to discuss proposed mixed-use development in DTSH
Officials with Bay to Bay Properties will host a public meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 19 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss the mixed-use development project they’ve proposed for a vacant lot in downtown Safety Harbor
The hour-long meeting will be held at the Safety Harbor Museum and Cultural Center, 329 S. Bayshore Blvd.
The local developer’s proposal calls for two buildings featuring office, residential and retail space, plus parking, to be built on a one-acre parcel at the northwest intersection of Main Street and Second Avenue North. The property is owned by Safety Harbor Holdings, LLC and is currently used for downtown public parking.
“The proposed project would consist of two buildings,” City Manager Matt Spoor explained during the August 21 City Commission meeting.
“The first would be a three-story commercial building consisting of retail, restaurant and office, between 18,000 and 22,000-square feet on Main Street, and the second building would be a three-story, 24-unit luxury multi-family structure on the northern part of the property.”
Spoor said Bay to Bay would occupy two floors of office space on Main Street, and parking would be located behind and between the two buildings as well as along Second Avenue North and Second Street North.
After expressing some concerns about the project, including the height of the residential structure, the five commissioners unanimously agreed to allow Spoor to enter negotiations with Bay to Bay on a development agreement.
In an email exchange with Safety Harbor Connect, Bay to Bay president Joe Faw said the reason behind the project is to keep his company headquartered in town as it experiences a surge in growth.
“Bay to Bay is growing quickly and will need a new office in the next year or two,” Faw wrote on Monday. “Our clients and our team love Safety Harbor and we wanted to stay in town if possible.”
Faw, a Safety Harbor resident, said he understands residents have concerns about new development in town.
“This is the first new construction project on Main Street in over 10 years, the last one being (the) Harbor Pointe (complex),” he noted.
But he said he believes his company’s project is in-line with officials’ wishes to improve economic development downtown while enhancing the district’s walkability and connectivity.
“This project incorporates: walkability, vibrancy, uniqueness, mixed-uses and enhanced architectural facades,” Faw explained.
“The proposed live/work/retail uses along with the development agreement will help ensure responsible growth.”
Faw also said he is aware of residents’ long held concerns about parking downtown, and he said they have been addressed in the proposal.
“The mixed uses will have different schedules and different intensities of use,” he explained. “We also incorporated parking on 2nd Street North and 2nd Ave North that will mirror the existing parking across the street.”
Spoor said during the meeting the project is expected to create approximately 30 new on-street parking spaces that would be built on private property and dedicated to the City for public use.
With so many questions surrounding the proposal, Faw said he wanted to hold a public meeting in order to address, and alleviate, residents’ concerns.
“This project is going to be in the heart of downtown and we want the community to be aware of the project from the beginning and also gain a better understanding of the upgraded architectural elements we tried to incorporate,” he said.
When asked what he hoped the meeting would accomplish, Faw was succinct.
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- Mixed-use development proposed for vacant lot in downtown Safety Harbor
- Commission wrestles with ways to boost economic development in Downtown Safety Harbor
- SHCC approves downtown parking agreement
I read about this meeting four days before it happened on the city fb page while I was checking irma coverage. I was in another state and knew about it . If you want to know what’s going on in the city its also a good idea to go to the meetings or watch them on video afterward. I keep hearing people say that things are being done without residents knowing and the commision is being sneaky. This is unfair and not true. This building has been talked about for over a month at a commision meeting . This is a private lot being sold to a developer building within code.
I agree with Barbara Hollen-Hugg: if this building really turns out as nice as it looks in the pictures, it could be a good addition to Safety Harbor’s downtown area.
Love the highbrow commentary over at Saving Safety Harbor – thank goodness there’s a forum for the feeble minded!
Thanks to Shelly for giving the low information folks in town a place to be angry!
The Riddler. Can’t agree with you more.
I really like the design as shown in the above photo. If the actual build looks anything like this rendering, I think it will be a great fit.
Great thoughts Barbara, thanks for supporting!
Unfortunately, I’ve come upon this late (not complaining about short notice). Am I right in the assumption that this is not something the public has a voice in? Mr. Faw’s hyperbole, and the iterated fact that they are not required to do this, aside, this meeting was more or less a “just so you know”, kind of meeting?
Faw lives in Safety Harbor and cares about the community, he can build whatever he wants based on current zoning. I’m thinking he would really like value-added public input, but no one wants to see this meeting wasted on a bunch of old-timers who want to see nothing new happen, ever. All these ‘status quo’ types that are defending vacant dirt piles truly have no idea how building, zoning and government work.
This is the first development in over ten years – people should be excited!
Bay to Bay Properties is being a community partner by taking the time to present their plans. The property has been owned for many years by a group of investors who could of built on it themselves according to land use or sold it to someone else and both WOULD NOT have to have this type of forum for community residents. Yes, information on this has recently came out in a few venues in recent days but this notice is not necessary. Bay to Bay is trying to work with the community. Be appreciative and grateful for their openness. Remember, this is not required. Also, this was previously discussed at a Commission Mtg. Personally, indiviuals need to proactively get informed/and educated through your own efforts instead of complaining about short notice.
It has been out there for over a week. Mayor Ayoub, Commissioner Scott Long, City of SH FB page and Nextdoor had this posted. Bay to Bay Properties does not have to do this but wanted to provide a forum for citizens to ask questions. I’m sure if you can’t attend you are welcome to send in your questions directly to the City or Bay To Bay Properties.
This is not a requirement of the City but a courtesy by Bay to Bay Properties.
I’m seeing this message at 10:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 18, and see that the meeting is being held at 6 p.m. tomorrow. Seems to me if residents were welcome we would have been given adequate notice.
I regret that I won’t be able to attend the meeting. One day’s notice is not enough for most people’s schedules. I hope this wasn’t done on purpose – as has happened before. Sorry to be cynical.
They get to build wether you go or not – when you have a property, you can build whatever you want as long as it meets zoning.
It’s not like they need your permission.
Bay to Bay officials wanted to host this meeting last week, until Hurricane Irma intervened. We were made aware of the event late Friday afternoon and posted the article on Monday afternoon. As has been mentioned here in the comments, other outlets have publicized the meeting on social media over the last several days. Unfortunately, Mother Nature screwed up a lot of the planning and timing for this event.