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Proposed condo high-rise on Bayshore Boulevard nears approval

The entrance to the new tower would share a driveway with Bayshore Royal, above.

Times files (2006)

The entrance to the new tower would share a driveway with Bayshore Royal, above.

HYDE PARK — A proposed condo tower on Bayshore Boulevard passed another hurdle last week with a final approval from the city's Architectural Review Commission, pending several conditions.

Citivest Construction, the builder, must work with the commission on placement of air conditioners and generators, window types, grilles and buffers to block views of the tower's garage, which faces the front door of a neighboring 10-story condo.

But even with those conditions, neighbors in Bayshore Royal call it a public nuisance.

"I feel like it trashes our building," said Fran Pasetti, who moved in to Bayshore Royal 14 years ago.

The entrance to the new tower would share a driveway off Bayshore Boulevard with Bayshore Royal and a 30-foot high parking garage.

The tower would block many residents' downtown and bay views.

"It's almost right in our front door," said Pasetti.

Neighbors say it's not compatible with the historic district and violates the ARC's requirements.

Royal resident Ross Urso said the parking entrance is 67 feet from the front door and would "transform the ambience of the Bayshore Royal's front area into the ambience of a service alley."

"It was an emotional meeting," said Cara Davis, commission member. "Many of us felt for those people."

However, she said, "We were strictly there to vote on the architectural details."

Citivest officials did not return calls this week for this article.

Neighbors acknowledge that the height of the building is settled.

The City Council and the ARC turned down a proposed 24-story building for the site in 2004. Citivest took the issue to court, reaching an agreement to build a 19-story tower on the 1 1/2-acre vacant lot.

Royal residents would prefer the building were closer to DeSoto Avenue, further from their property line. They also want the new tower's entrance moved to DeSoto.

The building is still subject to further city review, including transportation issues, before construction permits are approved.

Bayshore Royal was the tallest building on Bayshore when built in 1924 as a grand hotel. The neo-Mediterranean building's front lawn sweeps toward the bay. It was converted to apartments during World War II, and then to condos in 1980, said Susan Meade, president of the Bayshore Royal Condominium Association.

She bought one in 1986.

Historic pictures line the building's halls and show a sparsely populated boulevard.

Elisabeth Parker can be reached at eparker@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3431.

Proposed condo high-rise on Bayshore Boulevard nears approval 02/12/09 [Last modified: Thursday, February 12, 2009 3:30am]
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