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The ground may have been ceremonially broken for the residences at the St. Regis Longboat Key Resort, but the project last week received approval for the first major building component.

Following Florida Department of Environmental Protection approvals, the city granted Unicorp Acquisitions II LLC, the developer of the project, a building permit for foundation work worth $12.4 million .

City officials say Unicorp is expected to ramp up construction activities at the site almost immediately. In coordination with city construction officials, a construction plan was filed to address more than two and a half years of construction, designed to minimize offsite effects. Among the provisions of the plan:

  • Weekly emails will be sent to neighboring condominium communities Aquarius, Tencon as well as the city with updates on activities, milestones, etc. of the following week.
  • Primary construction and development contacts to respond immediately to any issues.
  • Information on the methods used to limit vibrations. Builders plan to use augers to drive more than 2,600 piles to support the resort’s three residential buildings and its hotel. This is intended to reduce noise and vibration, although vibration monitoring is part of the plan.
  • Descriptions of construction crane locations.
  • The order in which buildings will be constructed to reduce noise impacts and channel sound inland from the project or westward to the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Information on off-site parking and busing of workers to the site.

Guests and dignitaries gathered at the site in October for a groundbreaking ceremony, although at the time heavy machinery in the background was actually at work. Unicorp had received the project’s first permit the previous week to begin land preparations at the 17.6-acre beachfront site.

Another fact worth mentioning about the project: Clever number lovers on Longboat Key might have noticed for years that the old Colony Beach & Tennis Resort had an even address, even though it was on the odd side of Gulf of Mexico Drive.

No more.

All city building permits and documents associated with the St. Regis project list the property at 1601 Gulf of Mexico Drive, right next to Aquarius at 1701 GMD and Tencon at 1511 GMD.

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