It's one of the many steps they must take before moving forward with the development.
To move forward with Harbor Place, the 12 acre mixed-use property north of the Bayfront Parkway between State and Holland Streets, Scott Enterprises needed a height variance.
Of the 20 buildings that make up Harbor Place, they needed a variance for four of them.
According to the city ordinance, properties built along the waterfront can only be 50ft. tall.
The Scott’s want to build up 123ft. 6in. for two hotels, and 63ft. 6in. for two commercial buildings.
The variance passed, with a condition that for each additional square foot of real estate created by the height variance, an additional square foot of open space to be dedicated to public, excluding parking lots.
Brian Weber, Architect from Weber, Murphy Fox says they faced challenges with the space along the water because they can't create underground spaces like parking or storage.
Weber says they have the community's interest in mind by building up to only build on 45% of the land versus 65%.
It’s estimated that harbor place will generate $3 million dollars in taxes annually.
Some did speak against the height variance, including attorney John Mahler, who wrote on behalf of the 100 State Street Condominium Association.
The Erie County Convention Center Authority was granted two height variances for hotels; one in 2002 and another just a few months ago.
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