The neighborhood surrounding Sam Cooper Boulevard could be the next spot for new residential development.
Hedgepeth Construction is looking to build single-family homes in Midtown adjacent to the controversial Overton Gateway mixed-use project planned by Makowsky-Ringel-Greenberg (MRG) for the southeast and northeast corners of East Parkway and Sam Cooper Boulevard across from Overton Park.
According to a spokesperson from Loeb Properties, Hedgepeth is currently under contract with developer Loeb to subdivide three acres into 16 lots for single-family home construction. The expected price point for the homes should be around $300,000.
“This puts even more impetus on MRG to modify its proposal, which has drawn an overwhelmingly negative reaction from most of the major activist groups and neighborhood associations here in Midtown,” said Gordon Alexander, founder of the Midtown Action Coalition.
Loeb purchased the parcel several years ago after it had sat vacant for more than 50 years. The land, as well as the land for the MRG project, was cleared of homes in anticipation of Interstate-40 cutting through the area. That never happened due to a landmark 1971 Supreme Court decision to preserve Overton Park, which would have been sliced by I-40.
MRG’s Overton Gateway has received stiff opposition from many Midtown residents.
On the northern side of Sam Cooper, MRG's plans to build 54 apartments and 54 parking spaces. On on the south side of the street, the developer plans a combination of 106 multifamily units with 116 parking spaces, three townhome duplex rentals and three flats with four rentals each.
Designs also include walkable green spaces, several ground-floor bays for possible commercial use such as a coffee shop, and streetscape amenities like planters, covered wraparound porches, and a corner spot possibly for a sculpture or piece of public art.
Parking and height of the buildings are a couple of the main concerns with the project. Changes to the original designs included scaling down the number of overall apartments as well as the height of the multifamily buildings from five stories to a combination of three- and four-story buildings.
The project is also estimated to produce 115 overflow cars that would be forced to park in the neighborhood, something current homeowners are very unhappy about.
The Land Use Control Board is holding a public meeting on Thursday, June 8 in the City Council Chambers of City Hall regarding the project.