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Mixed-use development adjacent to Saddle Creek could be ‘phenomenal investment’ to Germantown

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The Germantown Planning Commission was scheduled to conduct a public meeting Tuesday night to outline a plan for the 32.8-acre mixed-use development that has been gaining attention lately.

The property is located east of Miller Farms Road, south of Poplar Ave. and north of Poplar Pike. It is adjacent to Saddle Creek.

If the property is rezoned, the development, which is currently referred to as the Carter Project, could include 302 apartments, a 130-room hotel, 56,400 square feet of office space and 254,000 square feet of retail space (including a 40,000-square-foot movie theater), based on submitted concept plans.

The city’s Design Review Commission (DRC) has already recommended the outline plan for approval.

DRC member Paul Bruns said traffic and drainage issues will need to be addressed on the tract of land but added that the project will be a “phenomenal investment in this community.”

“With proper attention given to the citizens and the effects of such a development,” he noted, “this will make for a great milestone in Germantown.”

Jerry Klein, chairman of the Economic Development Commission, said the concept for the project includes a “large amount of retail, as well as hotel and office uses that will be supported by a residential component.”

“This concept is one that we have seen before and encourage in the key commercial areas of Germantown,” he said.

The project is slated to include 1.6 acres of civic space, which includes plazas and greens and 2,031 parking spaces. There will be “several” six-story buildings within the development.

Letters of support and opposition have already been sent to members of the Planning Commission and city staff.

Guy and Sondra Massey corresponded Planning Commission Chairman Mike Harless in favor of the project.

“Not only will this development provide a town center concept which residents will enjoy for years to come,” they wrote, “but it will significantly enhance the city’s tax base through both real estate and sales tax generated.”

Richard Marsh has lived in the English Meadows neighborhood for more than 50 years and recalled playing on the Carter Project property as a child.

“Economics drive land use,” he wrote, “particularly in the city. Germantown is no longer an outpost or distant semi-rural suburb.”

Marsh said residents should “engage with city leadership and the developers” to “assure that the project is developed in a high quality manner.”

Russ Severino wrote to Planning Division Manager Sheila Pounder against the development, especially the potential movie theater.

“The Ridgeway Malco and Forest Hill Malco already serve that area,” he said. “I do not want to see Germantown encouraging the closure of my nearby services (like Schnucks) in the eastern part of our city while increasing the services near City Hall.

“The impact on our little shopping center on Poplar and Forest Hill-Irene would be detrimental to restaurants and retail,” he continued, “and further increase traffic congestion near West Street.”

During the Tuesday’s meeting, the development concept was opened for discussion, with the focus on “defining the project, rather than the potential content of the development.” Existing conditions like infrastructure and planned site and drainage improvements were also scheduled for examination.

After the Planning Commission review, the Germantown Board of Mayor and Aldermen will have the opportunity to consider the outline plan for approval.