[Note: This website applauds the overall master plan. This post is an attempt to predict and discuss a possible area of concern that may arise.]
It goes without saying that there will be some compromises to be made in preserving the natural setting of the waterfront and bluff. The reality is that some development will be necessary in order to help fund the rest of it, and the bluff and Osceola streetscape are the best candidates.
The master plan is very creative in preserving the waterfront and lower bluff, and there appears to be no development planned in that specific area (other than a new stage and its associated infrastructure for events).
The first zone is on the current City Hall parking lot. It would likely be a condominium tower similar to Water’s Edge, but it would be set back farther from the water so that it would not block the view of Water’s Edge residents. This is pretty much the same two-tower concept that was originally planned by the Water’s Edge developers before the housing market collapsed.
The second zone is next to the library and it would cover both the upper parking lot that currently sits next to the Harborview and also a portion of the current Harboview building footprint. It would likely be four or five stories tall with shops and restaurants on the bottom floor and residential above. It would be set back far enough from Cleveland Street to allow for a large open plaza (and water view) on the corner.
Most downtown residents will probably accept these two development zones as a reasonable fact of life. In order for downtown to become the vibrant center that we all want, we badly need more residential development. The bluff is by far the most attractive area for investment. If you are opposed, you can let City leaders know here.