LAKELAND, Fla. — The City Council on Monday approved the sale of an old fire station lot on Lake Mirror for the construction of an eight-story high rise office building.

The property will be sold to Summit Real Estate Holdings.

About 700 people had signed a petition against the high rise, arguing that the property would block views and keep residents from enjoying a public gathering place.

After the vote, Summit released a statement that said: "We believe this project will create significant economic benefits for downtown Lakeland, helping to make it even more successful and vibrant than it already is, and are confident that our new building will create a welcome and engaging workplace for our employees and our stakeholders."

The company said about 500 of its 750 employees will be located in the new facility.

Summit said it anticipates groundbreaking in the spring, with the opening tentative scheduled for the fall of 2021.

The council vote was 5-2 in favor of the sale.