#News: 5 hard facts about the Rockland Key development

#News: 5 hard facts about the Rockland Key development - A close up of a map - Site plan

The past Friday, Monroe County Growth Management received a site plan for a development on Rockland Key for a proposed commercial retail complex. Once reviewed by planning staff, the agreement will go before Development Review Committee and Planning Commission for recommendations before heading to the Board of County Commissioners for approval or denial.

“If approved by the BOCC, the developer would have up to ten years to carry out the project,” said Monroe County Senior Planner Joe Haberman. “Additional planning and permitting would likely take up to a year before construction could commence.”

  • The developer is requesting 335,000 sq. ft. of floor area spread across 20 units ranging from 740 sq. ft. to 138,489 sq. ft. Due to county processes like approval of the development agreement, conditional use permits and building permits, construction to start until late 2015 or early 2016.
  • The anchor store is most likely to dwarf other retail developments in the county. “It would be the largest retail store in unincorporated Monroe County,” explained Haberman. “The next biggest retail development in the Lower Keys is the Winn-Dixie plaza in Big Pine Key which is three buildings totaling 92,000 sq. ft.”
  • Currently, there is no corporate name attached to anchor store. In previous public hearings, the developer never identified specific tenants. Spaces are currently designated as “grocery, retail, restaurant, financial institution, service station, medical office and community center.”
  • Outlined in the development agreement is a 5,000 sq. ft. community center designated for public use. The county did not specify a purpose because of evolving needs. It will include a 200 seat community meeting room and 1,000 sq ft. for “neighborhood oriented services. ie. Hobby rooms or computer rooms.”
  • The developer is required to fund at least one City of Key West bus for use on the Key West-Marathon route, “to alleviate traffic on U.S. 1 caused by commercial development.”

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Jason Koler, born in Florida and raised in Ohio, is the “better looking and way smarter” Keys Weekly publisher. When not chasing his children or rubbing his wife’s feet, he enjoys folding laundry and performing experimental live publishing.