Hobe Grove project still in early approval stages

Designers of the proposed Hobe Grove community on Bridge Road had until April 4 to respond with corrections, questions or comments to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council’s summary of Becker Holdings’ preapplication presentation Feb. 16 in Stuart.

The proposed new community and “employment center,” west of the Bridge Road and Florida Turnpike intersection lies on a 2,823-acre parcel that is now primarily orange groves. The development plans for a total of 4,300 residential units; a 650,000 square foot town center; and 3,900,000 square feet of research, office and educational facilities.

The summary included the information needed and the methodologies identified by the Council for submitting the developer’s Application for Development Approval. If no comments have been forthcoming by the deadline, the summary directive will stand, which the developers then will be required to answer in full.

TCRPC officials have said that the application, once submitted, will be posted on their website for public review at: www.tcrpc.org.

A representative of Becker Holdings informed planning officials that the application also will be posted on the Becker Holdings website as well.

The completed application will be reviewed by the state’s Department of Community Affairs, the Watershed Management & Planning Division of the department of Environmental Protection, the US Army Corps of Engineers, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Florida Department of Transportation, the South Florida Water Management District, Florida Power & Light, and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, all of which will submit reports of their review to the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council.

After the application is determined to be sufficient, the Council will prepare an assessment report to identify regional issues and suggest opportunities to the developers to eliminate or mitigate any negative impacts that have been identified.

The Council’s assessment report will then be transmitted to the Martin County Board of County Commissioners, who will make the final determination to approve or reject the project. The approval process is anticipated to take from 12 to 24 months. The developers have said they hope to begin construction in 2012, to be completed in phases over 20 years.

According to the Hobe Grove preapplication summary, the first phase of the development includes plans for 750 single-family homes, 225 townhouse dwelling units, 125 apartments, 250,000 sq. ft. of commercial and retail space, 1.1 million sq. ft. of research and development space, 40,000 sq. ft. of office space, a 20-acre park, and classrooms for 500 students.

The completion date for the first phase is expected to be 2016, according to the Council’s summary.