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DRC denies Mirror Lake condo project

Veronica Brezina

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A rendering of the Lake House condominiums. All renderings: Skyward Living/Place Architecture.

The Development Review Commission has denied plans for a 200-foot-high condominium tower that would rise in Mirror Lake.  

St. Pete-based Skyward Living, controlled by St. Pete local Hudson Harr, was seeking approval of a site plan to construct an 82-unit, 18-story building with 840 square feet of commercial space and a 99-space parking garage, located at 200 and 216 Mirror Lake Drive North and 745 2nd Ave. North. 

A rendering of the Lake House project.  

In November, the DRC expressed concerns regarding the scale and height, and recommended moving the tower as far back as permitted from Mirror Lake Drive. The review was then deferred to the Jan. 4 meeting, where the commissioners unanimously voted to reject the revised plan after hearing opponents stating how the project was still incompatible with the surrounding neighborhood and it would result in the demolition of several buildings that contribute to the National Register Downtown St. Petersburg Historic District. 

“Today, you are making a landmark decision that will permanently impact the entire Mirror Lake shoreline,” Preserve the Burg advocacy chair Bill Herrmann said during the Wednesday meeting. “There is no way you can have a 200-foot building blend in and preserve external harmony.”

Skyward Living revised and denied plan included lowering the brick podium from five to four floors and relocating the tower as west as possible from Mirror Lake Drive. The previous setback was 10 feet, and the new proposed setback is 16 feet from Mirror Lake Drive. The number of parking spaces decreased from 131 to 99 and the number of dwelling units bumped up from 77 to 82. 

Additionally, the developer was seeking a FAR (floor area ratio bonus) of 7.0 in the revised plan. 

A rendering of the Lake House project as seen from Google Earth.  

Herrmann, among other opponents, said they acknowledge the Mirror Lake neighborhood as an “unspoiled jewel” that will inevitably face redevelopment; however, “the new infill development must be compatible with existing structures and the historic Mirror Lake waterfront park.” 

Sharing a consensus with fellow commissioners, DRC commissioner Charles Flynt said “It appears Mirror Lake is becoming more of a walking district of a lower scale, less intensive and not like Beach Drive. I like that it [the project] does have room for a coffee shop on the ground floor … but the mass of this building is too much for this street with the historic elements.” 

Near the subject site, the commissioners approved Reflection, an 18-story condo tower under construction at 300 8th St. North. Although close by, commissioners said it fits with the block it is on, unlike the site for the proposed Lake House development.  

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Avatar

    steve sullivan

    January 15, 2023at3:03 pm

    It’s a pitiful amount and you can blame Driscoll for that

  2. Wendy Wesley

    Wendy Wesley

    January 8, 2023at6:55 am

    I’d like to see an article on the impact fees developers pay to support affordable housing and improved and increased infrastructure.

  3. Avatar

    Diane Flanagan

    January 6, 2023at9:09 pm

    Amen!! This lovely oasis in the heart of DTSP must be preserved so all residents can enjoy.

  4. Avatar

    Mike Connelly

    January 5, 2023at4:59 pm

    Rock On. Bravissimo 🙋💜

  5. Avatar

    RITA SEWELL

    January 5, 2023at4:35 pm

    This is a gift for all who love and appreciate the simplicity of Mirror Lake. We are united in maintaining the scale and peace of the park and community. Thank you to all who shared commitment and passion. SAVE MIRROR LAKE❤️

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