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Board OKs Carrefour development

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A new development has been approved at the southwest corner of Poplar Ave. and Kirby Pkwy.

The city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved the outline plan 3-1 for the Carrefour at the Gateway development Monday night during its regularly scheduled meeting.

Alderman John Barzizza abstained from the vote while Alderman Dean Massey sided against the project.

The development will be located on the current site of the Carrefour Kirby Woods Mall and extend to the spot of the former Romano’s Macaroni Grill, which was leveled by a fire four years ago.

In 2014, the 9-acre site was rezoned from a shopping center and commercial district to “urban center” and “urban core” districts, or T5 and T6.

These districts allow a mixture of uses that include residential, retail, commercial and office. They also permit the construction of buildings between 5-to-10 stories in height.

The “concept plans” submitted for the development include more than 430,000 square feet of office space, over 100,000 square feet of retail, a parking garage and a 240-room hotel.

In August, the city’s Smart Code Review Committee recommended that an application from Cannon, Austin & Cannon, the current owners of the shopping center, be considered by the Planning Commission.

Nearly 16,000 square feet of civic space has been proposed for the center of the development.

The hotel will be located on Kirby Pkwy. Retail will front Poplar Ave.

A letter of intent from Cannon, Austin & Cannon states that the development will be a “walkable community.”

“The development is designed to create an environment that will attract the residents of Germantown who want to enjoy upscale street level retail shops, entertainment and restaurants.”

It further states that the site is “planned to accommodate business and family travelers and be the site for premier office buildings.”

Alderman Rocky Janda noted that “this is just an outline plan with no residential.”

Alderman Dean Massey asked that the project be postponed for further analysis.

“The public deserves to know what their city officials were doing behind closed doors,” he said, “to the exclusion of their other elected representatives.”

Alderman Forrest Owens admired the “evolution of the property.”

“I think it is cutting edge in terms of retail and office,” he added.

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