Proposed development in Green Park now on hold, mayor tells aldermen

By BURKE WASSON

A proposed mix of residential, office and commercial development near the Ronnie Hills subdivision in Green Park is on hold for the time being.

Mayor Steve Armstrong said last week that the project, which would have been developed in the Yuma and Flori drives area, has been placed on hold by TriStar Business Communities.

“I received a phone call today, and as I reported earlier, we had developers interested in developing the Yuma-Flori area,” Armstrong said at the Board of Aldermen’s Dec. 18 meeting. “At this time, they’re not going to move forward. A large portion of that was going to be redeveloped as the residential. But the residential market has apparently slowed to a point that they cannot feasibly … plans were not feasible to move forward at this time.”

Armstrong said TriStar has not, however, completely ruled out any plans of redeveloping the area in the future.

“They’re going to continue to monitor it and would like to potentially move forward at a later date. But at this time, the housing market, I guess they felt was in a little bit of a slump. With respect to that, they just feel that they cannot build and get those units sold in a manner that they can make a little profit.”

Armstrong previously had reported that TriStar had acquired almost all properties in the area needed to clear a path for development.

The development was presented to aldermen in the fall, and the board was set to consider the implementation of a community-improvement district, or CID, to help refund TriStar for some project-related costs.

TriStar had requested the possibility of aldermen approving an additional sales tax through a CID to help fund needed public-work improvements in the area.

Repeated attempts to contact TriStar Business Communities President Mike Tower-man have been unsuccessful.

City Attorney Paul Rost also had told aldermen that TriStar was willing to pay for any up-front costs related to the city exploring and studying the merits of the proposed CID.

Aldermen voted 5-1 at the board’s Nov. 20 meeting to accept a preliminary funding agreement from TriStar to move forward with the proposed CID. Ward 1 Alderman Judy Betlach was opposed.

As previously proposed, the development in the Yuma-Flori area would require a stoplight at the intersection of Flori Drive and Lindbergh Boulevard to accommodate the increased traffic that the residential and commercial development would be expected to generate. The proposal also included a realignment of that intersection.

But before any plan to redevelop the area could be approved by aldermen, it would require a public hearing and approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission. The previous plan discussed between city officials and TriStar conformed with Green Park’s comprehensive plan for the Yuma Drive area, according to Armstrong.

The mayor has said that based on that plan, his understanding of any future development in that neighborhood would include a majority of residential property.

Any possible office and commercial development of the area would be of a nature similar to other commercial properties along Lindbergh Boulevard.

Specifically, Armstrong has said that the area’s plan of having commercial properties face Lindbergh Boulevard likely would have been included in this project.

Residential properties also would retain much of the character of the area by being zoned at a further distance away from Lindbergh.

Armstrong also told aldermen last week that he would not be opposed to having a developer other than TriStar move forward with the development.

But the mayor said no developer other than TriStar has contacted the city.

“There are some other developers kind of in there, so we might potentially see other projects in the future,” Armstrong said. “But nobody’s approached the city at this time with any ideas or concepts.”