A $15 million plan to redevelop about a dozen acres that are “the heartbeat of Jupiter” was given initial approval Thursday night by the town council.
The commercial property is behind Miller’s Jupiter Ale House restaurant on the southwest corner of Alternate A1A and Center Street. Many local businesses, from tile companies to bicycle shops, are in the area.
The application for the project called Center Park calls for a three-story storage building and offices/warehouse. A portion of the property would be rezoned from commercial to industrial. Buildings would be 35 feet high.
Supporters of the plan said redevelopment is needed to maintain property values and attract new investment.
“This is a positive step for our town,” nearby resident Jeff Orr said.
Opponents said the rezoning would bring oversized buildings and too much traffic:
• “Traffic is already too much on Center Street. Thirty-five feet is too high,” said Jupiter resident Teri Grooms.
• “The new buildings would dwarf the structures in the area,” said council member Ron Delaney, who voted against along with Jim Kuretski in the 3-2 vote.
Supporters countered the area is long overdue for improvement.
“It’s an eyesore. We need to go forward,” said Vice Mayor Wayne Posner.
Second and final reading before the Town Council is May 16.
For information, go to jupiter.fl.us
Meanwhile, the council approved spending $2.8 million to buy two vacant acres next to the 3,000-student Jupiter High School.
The goal is to make the area safer for students, parents and employees, according to town officials.
Jupiter resident Andrew Weston opposed the plan, saying the town is moving too fast and should consider alternatives.
“Where is the traffic study?” Weston said.
The vote was 4-1, with Councilman Jim Kuretski dissenting.
The long-range plan calls for building a roundabout on the parcel on Indiantown Road at Daniels Way. Many use Daniels Way to get to and from the school.
Jupiter High has about 400 student drivers and about 1,500 students are dropped off daily. The school has about 200 employees, according to the town of Jupiter.
Along with that, about 48,000 vehicles a day travel Indiantown Road between Military Trail and Center Street, according to county records.
Aldi’s grocery store submitted plans a year ago to buy the property. A one-story, 17,000-square-foot building was submitted. The company withdrew after town officials voiced objections.