AERIAL VISTA OF THE THREE RESIDENTIAL BUILDINGS ON GROVE ISLE (click image to open video)
The recent email and letter (of 27 February 2014) sent to every owner/member of the Grove Isle Club by the new developer was replete with omissions and inaccuracies.
1. Their architect’s computer image is inaccurate as to the distance between buildings 3 and the proposed new 18 story glass and concrete high-rise. They have portrayed the distance as a substantial distance when, in fact, these plans call for the proposed building to be 40% closer to building 3 than building 3 is to building 2.
2. The developer DOES NOT presently enjoy a right to construct a residential tower on the island. Neither the City nor any court has made a determination that there is a right to develop as of this time.
3. The former deputy City Attorney (in February 13, 2013) did not state that the development group has the right to build what it presented. She merely commented on a letter espousing one view of governing documents. That argument and her position on it is currently under-re-evaluation by the City Attorney’s office based on our attorneys’ well-reasoned memorandum of law. Any development will not depend solely on the City Attorney, however, since it is the Planning, Zoning, and Building departments that make those decisions after following various administrative procedures, many of which are subject to appeal to the Planning and Zoning Appeals Board and the City Commission. None of this has occurred yet.
4. The developer is interested in doing what is BEST for the developer and not for Grove Isle #1, #2 or #3, and its existing 510 apartments It is beyond naïve to think that the developer is truly concerned about long time Grove Isle residents. He is concerned with maximizing his economic return on his $24 million investment. He should be aware that the gross value of the existing apartments on Grove Isle is well over $400 million dollars!
5. The developer has not submitted plans for new club facilities (or tennis courts). Rather, he depicted a rendering of a club room and state “Subject to Change”. How can anyone rely on a developer who fails to advise and show all of his plans in advance? Why not reveal exactly what they plan on building?
6. The developer’s threat of building more units if we don’t agree with his plans is merely an attempt to bully and threaten Grove Isle owners. Any proposal would have to be reviewed by the City’s Planning and Zoning Department. No such proposal has been submitted or reviewed.
7. The developer will not get the City or a Court to approve another 445 units. These threats from the developer must stop!!! If you want to be our Grove Isle neighbor, act like one and stop your threatening tactics.
8. There are numerous other issues that the developer will have to address before proceeding, that go beyond zoning and planning and land usage:
a. What happens to our bridge when heavy construction vehicles cross it?
b. How do they remove hundreds of tons of debris from Grove Isle?
c. How will they deliver hundreds of tons of building materials such as concrete, steel and glass?
d. How many parking spaces will Grove Isle #1, #2 and #3 lose with this construction and thereafter?
e. How does the developer’s plan impact our traffic and South Bayshore Drive traffic?
f. What does DERM have to say about this project?
g. Will this plan comply with sewer, water and other City issues?
h. How will this construction match or fit with existing structures? Will the tropical “state of the island” be lost?
i. Honestly, how long will this project take……we feel 2 years minimum.
The entire development approval process has many different paths. The length of time to complete this process is uncertain under normal circumstances, and will be made more so if the Grove Isle Association and residents are uncooperative. We feel we are in the beginning stages of what could end up being a protracted process. The developer’s only hope of developing within a reasonable period of time is to negotiate with us and ultimately provide a mutually satisfactory solution.