Orlando's Municipal Planning Board unanimously approved plans for a 28-story tower near Lake Eola Park Tuesday, despite crowds of residents protesting its impact.
The building, which would replace two historic buildings on East Central Boulevard, will house 215 residential units, an area for commercial use and a parking garage. Although the plans were approved by the municipal board, they still require final approval from Orlando's City Council.
At least 100 members of one of Orlando's oldest social clubs, the Rosalind Club, and others filled Council Chambers at City Hall to let the board know their concerns. The skyscraper, proposed by a Chicago developer, would be the club's direct neighbor.
Karen Consalo, who is representing the Rosalind Club, says the club members' concerns with the building include encroachments on the park, increased traffic, the height of the building, increased crime, construction damage and losing the lake view from the Rosalind building.
Save Lake Eola Park, a group protesting the project, said on its website that the city would give public park land to the developer, land that was originally deeded to the city from Cathedral Church of St. Luke on the condition that it would be used as "public park only." City staff and the developer's representatives say the developer proposed outdoor seating, water wells and landscape improvements to the land as a donation, but would not own the land. – MC