DUNEDIN — Construction on one of the largest commercial development projects ever to take place along Main Street in downtown Dunedin, The Courtyard on Main, is scheduled to begin in August.
Construction is designed to take place in two phases, with the opening of the building planned for the fall of 2021, Nils Kushta, director of communications for Arlis Construction, said in an interview with the Dunedin Beacon.
Project blueprints are in the final stages of engineering review.
Kushta said the first phase will begin with ground breaking, site preparation and construction of the parking structure at the north end of the property, and continue with the renovation of the interior offices at the former Ocean Optics building.
It will be fully updated and remodeled and feature 20,000 square feet of contemporary office space, he said.
The second phase of the project will include the retail, restaurant, and condominium portions of the project through to completion.
“The Courtyard on Main will feature 18 luxurious condominium units along the second and third floors with expansive outdoor balconies overlooking the Pinellas Trail, Main Street, and Douglas Avenue,” he said.
There will be approximately 29,000 square feet of total retail and restaurant space, with two flagship restaurant locations planned to anchor the project along the corner of Main Street and Douglas Avenue and Douglas and Monroe Street.
The Main Street and Douglas Avenue corner location will feature up to 40 feet of landscaped patio space for outdoor dining, whereas the Douglas and Monroe location has been designed to accommodate an open-air lounge on the second floor overlooking Douglas Avenue.
Along the north end of the property, mirroring the city’s parking garage on Monroe Street, the development will have a three-story parking garage with rooftop parking, which will contain approximately 154 spaces, Kushta said.
Arlis also is partnering with the city to develop an additional five spaces of outdoor parallel parking along Douglas Avenue to create a buffer between pedestrians and the roadway.
Some of the outdoor amenities include a landscaped area designed for outdoor dining and seating along Main Street, along with an outdoor rooftop patio dining and lounge facility.
The site will include a water fountain feature in a landscaped courtyard with shaded seating. The Douglas Avenue side of the project will feature 15-foot-wide sidewalks with covered walkways and landscaped breezeways leading through to the Pinellas Trail.
Being located in the heart of the city’s tourist district, the developers plan Courtyard On Main to be part of the downtown community.
“We chose this location because downtown Dunedin is an incredible destination for unique restaurants, boutique shops, artisanal breweries, and eclectic artwork. Our vision is to transform what has long been a vacant parcel in the heart of downtown into a refined building that provides an area for residents and visitors alike to relax, shop, dine, and live,” Kushta said.
Local event planners, retailers, and unit owners will be able to reserve the Courtyard space for intimate events and gatherings. he said.
“Throughout the planning and design process, we sourced inspiration from the community and our local surroundings. As a truly mixed-use project, the Courtyard on Main will create new jobs, embrace walkability, and enhance livability in the downtown core,” he said.
During one of many City Commission hearings on the project, Community Redevelopment Agency and Housing Director Bob Goldsmith told city officials Courtyard on Main will address the need for office space in the downtown core and create a nice synergy.
“We think it’s a nice addition to downtown,” he said. “It draws Main Street together.”
During the hearing, he estimated the development will also add to city and CRA coffers, bringing in an anticipated $180,000 in property taxes on an annual basis.