FAYETTEVILLE -- The site of the former Hooters restaurant on Shiloh Drive is planned to become a pedestrian friendly, mixed-use development with apartments, retail and amenities.
The Planning Commission supported rezoning the property 7-0 on Monday.
The 7-acre site south of the Northwest Arkansas Mall is mostly undeveloped save for the building that once housed a Hooters restaurant facing Shiloh Drive. The building has remained vacant since Hooters closed in 2013.
Robert Goltermann with DCM Group Commercial Real Estate Services in St. Louis, Mo., applied to rezone the property for a wider variety of land uses. The property is zoned as strictly commercial. The commission approved rezoning it to allow a mix of commercial and residential uses under the city's community services district. The proposal will go to the City Council for final approval.
In a letter to the commission, Goltermann said the plan is to create a dense mixed-use development that will be pedestrian friendly and bring more patrons to neighboring businesses. The project would include 169 apartment units, a 6,000-square-foot retail center, amenities and parking.
Goltermann said Monday the property is under contract for new ownership.
"Our main goal is to activate the site," he said. "As expressed, it's somewhat dilapidated now."
Allowable land uses under the community services zoning district include cultural and recreational facilities, eating places, neighborhood shopping goods, offices, studios, sidewalk cafes and a variety of residential uses.
Jonathan Curth, development services director for the city, said planners consider the area as an urban center fit for the highest type of density allowable. The property has no trees and is ripe for redevelopment being near College Avenue, a bus stop and the Razorback Greenway, he said.
"This is an area that is abundant in services and lacking in housing," Curth said.
Hoyt Perry, owner of HPerry Jewelers next to the former Hooters building, said he supported the rezoning 110%. He pointed out the sewer line to his business runs through the property and asked construction crews to be mindful of it, and to allow access to his building while construction is ongoing.
Commissioners also expressed support for the rezoning. Sarah Sparkman said the request was straightforward and appropriate.
"I hope this will spur development so it will not just be a dilapidated Hooters," she said.
Fayetteville’s Planning Commission met Monday and:
• Recommended the City Council rezone half an acre at Happy Hollow Road and Fifth Street to enable construction of four single-family homes.
• Held until Oct. 25 a request to lift the 2.5 unit-per-acre restriction on a proposed subdivision at 51 acres on Dead Horse Mountain Road.