NORTH PORT — Biscayne Square is about to become a reality.

The North Port City Commission recently gave the green light to the commercial and housing development planned for the corner of Biscayne Drive and Ponce de Leon Boulevard.

Brad Design & Engineering, the developers of the property, expect the first retail spaces to be occupied within a year.

Commissioners, concerned about the planned buffer between the development and adjacent residential areas as well as left turn lanes on both Biscayne and Ponce de Leon, reached an agreement from the firm that they will develop both buffers and turn lanes.

“I believe we have to have 30-foot buffers,” Vice Mayor Debbie McDowell said. “What I think we have now will be a vast improvement to that area.”

The developer has also pledged to build 8-foot buffer walls around the complex.

The site is across from the North Port’s newest fire station.

Developers envision a mix of retail shops and a 12-unit, two-story apartment complex on the 3.6 acres site.

The city’s master plan calls for concentrated commercial activity and multi-family housing in the area.

The plan calls for the center to develop in four stages: The first is infrastructure and a convenience store. The second and third phases would be construction of 12 units for commercial businesses and the final phase would be construction of the apartment building.

The planned development will carry a “Florida Cracker” design. No total price has been announced for the complex.

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