The Downtown Action Committee, an architect-heavy group that evaluates project proposals, gave the go-ahead Wednesday to developer Jeff Greene’s plan for a building of 348 ‘micro units,’ apartments of about 450 square feet.
The proposed building at Banyan Boulevard and Rosemary Avenue is meant to attract millennials put off by downtown’s high rents, and out-of-towners looking for a well-located pied-a-terre.
City rules required that apartments be no smaller than 550 square feet and that the buildings provide one parking space per unit. The board Wednesday voted to allow units of 300 to 549 square feet and one parking space for every two micro apartments.
“Market trends and the possibility to provide some affordable units within the core of the downtown support the proposed change to allow smaller units,” Ana Maria Aponte, the city’s senior urban design planner, told the board.
The measure passed with only one vote in opposition, by Joseph Crossen. Crossen said the concept should be tried on a trial basis before opening the door to reduced parking requirements.
Aponte said the parking reduction fits in with city efforts to encourage mass transit, bicycling and alter transportation alternatives.
The approval required a contribution of $10 per unit per month to support the city trolley system. It also required parking spaces for car-sharing, and bike sharing facilities.
Downtown Development Authority Executive Director Raphael Clemente expressed support for the project. “There is growing demand for affordable units downtown,” he said.