A new 408-unit apartment complex is planned in west Little Rock, which has provoked objections from some residents in nearby single-family subdivisions.
The Little Rock Planning Commission has approved a site plan and rezoning of a 74-acre wooded area west of South Bowman Road to make way for the apartment complex, as well as office space and single-family homes.
The site is between the Brodie Creek subdivision, which is made up of single-family homes, and the Pointe Brodie Creek Apartments. The single-family Sandpiper and Woodland Edge subdivisions also are nearby.
Homeowners in the area attended a Planning Commission meeting Thursday and spoke out against the development.
Many said they didn't want their homes to be surrounded by apartment complexes. In addition to the one already there and the proposed one, another complex has been approved and is under construction.
Residents also said they feared the value of their homes would decrease because of all the new multifamily construction.
The commission's approval Thursday isn't the final say. The matter will now go to the Little Rock Board of Directors before developer Keith Richardson has the OK to start work.
Richardson is planning for the first phase of the apartment complex -- 120 units -- to be open and ready for renters by 2017. He plans to then add 96 units each year for three years.
"We have spent over $130,000 per unit for every single apartment complex we've built [in that area,]" he told the Planning Commission in response to neighbors' objections. "We will maintain them. We have to maintain them with the mortgage we put on there."
He pitched the proposed development as luxury apartments with rent starting at $1,000 per month.
David Shipley, who has lived in the Woodland Edge subdivision for seven years, told the commission he feared that over time as the apartments age, they might be turned into Section 8 housing.
Section 8 is a federal program that gives housing vouchers to low-income families to help offset rental costs.
Richardson is the developer of the 600-unit Pointe Brodie Creek Apartments south of the proposed site.
His new proposal for the 74 wooded acres is to use about 23.5 acres for a multifamily complex. Another 27.3 acres is designated for single-family or age-restricted housing.
About 11.5 acres would be zoned to allow offices. Richardson also requested that a nursing home or recovery house be allowed in that area.
Another 11.75 acres would remain open space, primarily to serve as buffer areas to the north, east and west of the proposed multifamily development.
The proposal shows 890 parking spaces -- which include 102 garage spaces and 198 carport slots. The rest would be uncovered parking. That is more than the required 612 spaces for a development of its size.
Richardson was out of the office Friday and unavailable for comment on the neighbors' objection to his project.
No date has been set for the city board to vote on the rezoning request and site plan.
Metro on 11/23/2015
Print Headline: Plan to build LR complex irks neighbors