Melbourne City Council Supports Revitalization Efforts In Downtown Eau Gallie
By Space Coast Daily // September 1, 2015
MELBOURNE, FLORIDA — The Melbourne City Council has approved two changes that will help eliminate a blighted area and will support revitalization efforts in Downtown Eau Gallie.
First, Council gave final approval of an ordinance to expand the Olde Eau Gallie Riverfront Community Redevelopment Area (CRA) to include two vacant, blighted properties at the southeast corner of Pineapple Avenue and Creighton Street where a developer wishes to construct a new multifamily housing development.
The Eau Gallie CRA is one of three CRAs in the city of Melbourne established to revitalize blighted properties like these through capital improvement projects, economic incentive programs, beautification programs and partnership opportunities.
To further encourage economic development in Eau Gallie, Council also approved an ordinance to establish the Central Business Overlay Zone (CB-OZ) in the Eau Gallie CRA.
In August 2014, Council adopted the CB-OZ for the Melbourne Downtown CRA in order to remove barriers to urban development. New parking requirements, setback minimums and other improvements within the CB-OZ have made compact redevelopment projects feasible.
For example, a development project that will bring a new Einstein Bros Bagel shop to the long-vacant Mikayo restaurant property at the corner of US1 and Riverview Drive was made possible by the new CB-OZ.
“We could not have made the project work on that site without the reduced parking and driveway width requirements,” said Jake Wise, Principal, Construction Engineering Group.
“That old building would still be sitting there today.”
Establishing the CB-OZ in Eau Gallie will address universal development challenges shared between both downtown areas, including the need for parking structures and/or shared parking for compact development, the limited availability of land and the costs involved in aggregating property for a development project, the need for flexible development regulations, and the need for a skilled development team to navigate complicated projects.
In addition, Eau Gallie-specific height restrictions will be removed to allow the underlying zoning height allowances to apply, and a 5-foot maximum building setback will be placed on Highland Avenue between Montreal Avenue and St. Clair Street.
“These changes in the land development regulations within Melbourne’s older commercial core areas, such as Eau Gallie, will enhance the City’s regional competitiveness for new development opportunities,” said Doug Dombroski, City of Melbourne Economic Development Manager.
The two ordinances are the latest actions Council has taken to revitalize the Eau Gallie CRA. Earlier this summer Council approved incentives to encourage a developer to convert a vacant gym on Highland Avenue to office space for the headquarters of a technology company.
Up to 30 employees who are paid an average salary of more than $50,000 are expected to work at the renovated building.
“We are hopeful that the incentive programs available in the Eau Gallie CRA that promote façade improvement and real estate investment, along with the welcoming atmosphere in Eau Gallie, will continue to attract quality establishments,” said Kelly Delmonico, Planner for the City of Melbourne.
“We are excited to see what the future holds for Eau Gallie.”