ORLANDO-This tourist destination, with a four-county metro population of 1.2 million, is finessing a recently-adopted 20-year Downtown master shelter/business plan in an effort to enter first-tier commercial markets some day as a 24-hour-seven-day-a-week city.

Multifamily and single-family developers, however, say the blueprint eventually will raise shelter costs, citing scarce 50-foot by 100-foot empty parcels (5,000 sf) already going for $150,000 or $30 per sf.

City officials and the Downtown Development Board cite Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA as examples of communities that have successfully used a master plan to blend culture, cash and shelter into an identifiable Downtown core.

For housing at least, the guidelines suggest but don’t mandate specific construction and design steps for owners, developers and architects to follow to ensure the ambience of older neighborhoods is not disturbed or damaged.

Some longtime single-family and multifamily developers such as Frank Anderson, however, say following the city’s master plan could easily increase the construction costs of Downtown shelter in the near future.

For example, insisting that builders make sure the entrance level to a newly-built home or apartment house is at least 18 inches off the ground, and not set flush with the dirt as they are in most cookie-cutter suburban neighborhoods, could add thousands of dollars to construction costs, Anderson maintains.

While the aim of the city’s new guidelines is to preserve the character of the mature neighborhood, developers tell GlobeSt.com some owners already are considering demolishing older residences and multifamily structures to obtain a clean construction pad for a newer and larger structure.

The newer shelter would comply with the master plan’s suggestions but would not be hampered by existing construction defects evident on some older properties, builders say.

This approach has been followed in suburban Winter Park for several years, almost exhausting the inventory of vacant buildable lots.

The master plan was conceived by private consultants retained by the Downtown Development Board for a $400,000 fee.

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