22-story tower part of proposed Green Hills mixed-used project - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

22-story tower part of proposed Green Hills mixed-used development

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There's a big change proposed for one of the city's most popular retail districts.

A developer is asking for approval for a 22-story tower in the heart of Green Hills where people can live, shop and work.

What's proposed for the property on Hillsboro Road is like nothing that Green Hills has seen before.

About 2.5 acres at the intersection of Hillsboro and Richard Jones roads is where Southern Land Company proposes to build a 22-story mixed-use development.

There would be 300 residential units from studios to two-bedroom units, plus office space with stores and restaurants at ground level.

It would dwarf what's now the tallest building in Green Hills, 14 stories.

Some question the size and scale of the project.

"I'm in favor of development, generally speaking," said John Elrod. "I think that would be useful, but 22 stories seems like it would be out of place in this part of town."

Metro planners said it's the kind of urban development that promotes walkability, a place where people can shop, eat and live.

"It's part of the evolution of a successful urban community center," said Joni Priest of the Metro Planning Department.

The developers plan a 600-car garage, four times what they're required to provide. As for traffic, developers said a few hundred more trips a day won't make that much of a difference.

"I know this is difficult for people to wrap their heads around, but it really is going to be a drop in the bucket," said Priest. "TDOT's traffic numbers back that up. They say 31,000 cars a day travel this section of Hillsboro Road."

Progress would push out several neighborhood businesses, like Blue Monkey Shaved Ice.

"No, we won't be here," said William Bruce of Blue Monkey Shaved Ice. "We'll probably move to a different location."

The Well coffee house and a full-service gas station would also have to go.

Southern Land's mixed-use project doesn't have final approval yet.

The company hopes to break ground for the project in January.

Metro planners said Southern Land is being allowed to do the 22-story height because the property incorporates at least three different uses: retail, residential and office space.

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