Billiards, games could come to Indian River Plaza

VERO BEACH – A sports bar offering pool tables or arcade games could be coming to Indian River Plaza, the K-mart center off US 1.

Developer Michael Rechter will be allowed to offer space at the plaza for a business that wants such entertainment after the Vero Beach City Council approved rezoning the 16-plus acre site.

The new designation to Commercial-1 Highway will allow for more uses at the site, including the potential for a hotel/motel, auto sales and auto service, according to Planning Director Tim McGarry.

However, what Rechter has in mind for the plaza is “commercial amusement” uses – not hotels.

His representative, Joseph Schulke of Schulke Associates, told the Vero Beach City Council that Rechter only wants the property to be line with surrounding properties in order to be on a more level playing field in attracting tenants.

One such tenant could be something similar to Cunninghams Pool and Darts.

Without the change in designation, a sports bar or similar establishment would be allowed only a couple game tables.

“We’re at some sort of disadvantage,” Schulke said by not having the requested zoning.

McGarry said the new zoning classification would be consistent with the city’s future land use map and be compatible with other neighboring sites.

“This property is not any different from a lot of the other properties along US 1,” McGarry said, adding that his staff was at a loss for why Indian River Plaza had not been zoned commercial originally.

City Councilman Tom White asked about what would be allowed under the “commercial amusement” designation.

McGarry said that “gambling” arcades would not be allowed, per city code.

Councilman Ken Daige said that offering the new designation would help further improve the site.

“People are working,” he said. By offering expanded uses at the plaza, more businesses could move in, bringing in even more jobs.

“Anything on that site will be an improvement,” Daige said. “Let’s get it moving.”

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