Coral Springs approved a special exception allowing the mixed-use project to deviate from local design rules

Key International and its partner 13th Floor Investments advanced a plan to build a mixed-use project with 377 apartments on the former site of a Publix supermarket in Coral Springs.

Publix Super Markets demolished its former Coral Springs supermarket at 9201 West Sample Road, on the northeast corner of West Sample Road and University Drive, in 2007 after Hurricane Wilma damaged it in 2005, according to a memo to the city commission from the city’s development services department.

Miami-based Key International and Miami-based 13th Floor plan an eight-story development on the vacant site, to include 11,525 square feet of retail space and 175 one-bedroom apartments, 158 two-bedrooms, and 44 three-bedrooms. The project also would have two courtyards, one with a swimming pool, and an eight-level parking garage with 629 spaces, as well as a water fountain and public art at the corner of Sample Road and University Drive.

A spokesperson for Key International said the firm has a contract with Publix to buy the development site, but has no plans to include a Publix store in the mixed-use project’s commercial component. She declined to disclose the contract price.

The Coral Springs City Commission voted unanimously Thursday night to grant a special exception to the city’s land development code, allowing the development to deviate from local design rules.

Key International was founded by Jose Ardid and is led by his sons, co-presidents Diego Ardid and Inigo Ardid. The executives were unavailable for comment.

Lakeland-based Publix Super Markets filed a special exception petition with the city for the planned redevelopment of its 4.2-acre vacant site. If the project is approved, construction would begin by the summer of 2023, according to the memo to the city commission.

In its petition for a special exception, Publix sought authority to deviate from standards for the maximum size of lots and blocks in the city’s Downtown Mixed-Use Zoning District (DT-MU). The supermarket called these deviations “relatively minor,” given the constraints of the site.

“The project site is both the block and the lot because it is surrounded by right-of-ways on three sides,” according to the Publix petition. “Consequently, it meets all of the block dimensional standards except one, but does not meet the lot width, depth, and lot size standards.”

For example, the length of the Key International development along West Sample Road would be 517 feet and 11 inches, longer than a 500-foot limit for a block inside the DT-MU zone, and the project site would measure 313 feet and 3 inches along University Drive, exceeding a 300-foot limit on lot width.

“Although the project exceeds the maximum lot length, the petitioner has worked to incorporate additional pedestrian features along the street to encourage pedestrian activity, which is important to us,” said Coral Springs Mayor Scott J. Brook. “The features include a dedicated space at the corner [of University Drive and Sample Road] for public art, entrance features, benches, and shade trees.”

Correction: After publication, a spokesperson for Key International said 13th Floor is a partner in the project, and said Jose Ardid is no longer one of the leaders of Key International.

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