Two new residential buildings are coming to downtown Pensacola, the latest projects among a flurry of new development along the rapidly-changing Tarragona Street corridor.
The project is being developed by architect Brian Spencer, who also serves as Pensacola’s city council president. Spencer plans to erect the two new buildings on the southeast corner of South Tarragona and East Intendencia Streets, across the street from the new $16 million downtown YMCA and the $50 million Southtowne mixed-use development, currently under construction.
On Tarragona, what’s now a one-story building and surface parking lot will be replaced by a three-story building with covered parking on the ground floor and four two-bedroom units above. Around the corner on Intendencia, another surface parking lot will be replaced by an L-shaped building featuring three additional residences.
The project will incorporate a number of “green” features, including the replacement of asphalt parking with semi-permeable pavers.
“I prefer to be identified as a redeveloper vs. a developer only because it more accurately introduces my intention to redevelop underutilized urban areas,” said Spencer. “These two buildings exemplify an environmentally responsible variation of development. The existing surface parking areas are ripe for a higher and better use. In their current condition, they primarily contribute to stormwater runoff and climactic heat generation. By delivering seven additional residences within our urban core, the development increases the residential inventory and density for a downtown neighborhood, and the city benefits from an increased 24/7 population plus additional ad valorem taxes.”
The city’s Architectural Review Board approved the project last month. Spencer hopes to break ground on the project by September, with construction expected to last about ten months.
The new development is the latest in a series of residential projects under construction or planned in downtown Pensacola. Developer Ray Russenberger’s 701 South Palafox condo building is nearing completion, and Russenberger has proposed another nine-story building on city-owned land elsewhere on Palafox. Other planned projects include The Warfield in the Seville district, Girard Place in the Tanyard neighborhood just west of downtown, and the Junction at West Hill in nearby Belmont-Devilliers.