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VOL. 115 | NO. 202 | Wednesday, November 28, 2001

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New homes on tap for Midtown


The Daily News

A planned unit development, encompassing the last large plot of land on the west end of the Midtown Corridor within the Evergreen Historic Preservation District, tops todays Memphis Landmarks Commission agenda.

The meeting begins at 4:30 p.m. in Conference Room A at City Hall, 125 N. Main St.

Certificates of appropriateness for the first six of 20 residential homes to be built on 4.1 acres of vacant land situated at the south end of Williamson Park are to be heard by the commission. MLC staff recommends approval of all six designs, under the condition that the builders make a follow-up appearance before the MLC design review committee for approval of brick, mortar and shingle colors.

Local builder and developer Bernard Cowles, co-owner of Remac LLC, said his firm along with builders Rob and Brad Hansom of Hansom Homes are currently under contract to jointly purchase the property for $651,000 from the City of Memphis at the end of this month.

Remac also is building four Victorian homes as part of another infill development known as McLean Court on McLean Boulevard, adjacent to the old central library at 1850 Peabody Ave.

The two building firms plan to evenly split development and building of the 20 new homes. Construction is scheduled to begin within the next 30 days pending MLC approval, Cowles said.

The purchase price excludes development costs accompanying the property such as design and installation of drainage facilities, as well as street realignment, Cowles said.

The new homes will include traditional Midtown designs such as two story four-squares, 1.5-story bungalows and cross gables according to the staff reports. Lavelle Walker of Lavelle Walker Residential Design will design all the homes, Cowles said.

Pricing on the new homes, which will average 2,400 square feet in size, will be similar to many other new homes built within the corridor, with the first six priced between $250,000 to $275,000. In the second phase of the planned development, which Cowles said would be distinguished by larger lots and higher prices, homes will run from $275,000 to $325,000.

MLC manager Nancy Jane Baker said the property is being developed as a planned unit development because of drainage issues on the property.

The neighborhood had a lot of concerns that there wasnt some kind of controlling of the run-off, which is not bad unless there is a lot of rain, so (the developers) are being required to put in a buffer area, Baker said, which would include a drainage facility that would not only control drainage near the new homes, but also handle runoff from nearby streets.

Also, by designing the property as a planned unit development, Baker said higher density housing would be permitted, which would be more compatible with the neighborhood. But, she said, the homes would still be held to the same design guidelines as other structures within the district.

This will fill in that hole, Baker said, referring to the empty corridor property, which has sat vacant since the 1970s. The city began selling the property back in the early 1990s, she said. Itll kind of define where Williamson Park ends, but other than that, I dont think it will change the neighborhood any more than any of the other infill has done.

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