By Gina M. Capone
Published in The Town-Crier
The Wellington Village Council gave preliminary approval Tuesday, Sept. 24 to the Players Club Residencies project, which proposes to tear down the existing Players Club building and replace it with a 50-unit luxury condominium building to be known as Coach House Wellington.
The approval encompasses three ordinances — a comprehensive plan amendment and a zoning text amendment regarding the building’s height, and a comprehensive plan amendment regarding the project itself. All three were approved by the council unanimously.
Jon Schmidt of the land planning firm Schmidt Nichols represented owner Neil Hirsch and Sperin LLC. Schmidt presented renderings of the site and discussed the proposed 50-unit condominium building on the 5.58-acre parcel located at 13410 South Shore Blvd.
“Thank you for your consideration tonight for the Coach House, which is the new name for the project,” Schmidt said. “I feel really honored to work on this project. These high-end projects don’t come to our office too often. So, it’s really nice to be involved with them. We have been working on this project 10 months just with staff. We submitted this in December, but we started considerably before that.”
Schmidt gave the council a project overview. He produced renderings of the building to show the council what it will look like.
“This is a concierge service ultra-high-end luxury condominium,” Schmidt explained. “We feel we are responding to a niche that has a void in the Wellington market for a luxury, lock-and-leave building. This project will receive international and national exposure.”
The 50 high-end condominium units will have an underground parking area with private garages, elevators and a rooftop pool, replacing the existing restaurant and club building located on the site.
The assessed value will be somewhere around $140 million with permit and impact fees to Wellington of over $1 million. There will be more than 500 jobs for construction and 12 full-time positions at completion. The total ad valorem taxes to the county will be $4 million, and to the village $1.5 million.
Schmidt believes there is a high tax climate that’s pushing a lot of people to relocate to Florida. He thinks the property will enhance the Wellington brand.
Schmidt added that many local residents with large estates might like to downsize. Having a full-service, high-end building will fulfill their needs.
“It’s a four-story, tiered design,” Schmidt said. “I call it a wedding cake design. We move from the outside in as you go higher. We have considerably higher setbacks, higher green spaces and reduced traffic [compared to the previous restaurant use].”
In order to allow the project, the comprehensive text amendment and the zoning text amendment were required to change the rules regarding the height of buildings as they relate to multi-family structures within the Wellington PUD. To make sure that the change does not lead to a proliferation of four-story buildings in central Wellington, a list of conditions were placed on such parcels.
In order to comply with the change, the applicant had to incorporate an additional setback, be within a planned development, be within residential classifications E, F, G or H, and be at least two acres in size for anything over 35 feet.
Currently the code provides that for every foot above 35 feet, one must provide another foot of setback. If one goes over 56 feet, there is a limitation of 15 percent, limited to areas that are not living or dwelling units.
“We are proposing two simple changes to allow additional height in residential E, F, G and H, and that all buildings that are exceeding 35 feet, they are subject to your approval,” Schmidt explained. “This allows your council to look at projects on a case-by-case basis and apply these codes.”
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