Council considering 120 townhouses along US 280

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The Hoover City Council plans on February 21 to vote on whether to rededicate 15.7 acres along US 280 to accommodate 120 townhouses and three commercial buildings totaling approximately 25,000 square feet.

The property is located at 5352 US 280, directly across from the Walmart Supercenter. It’s currently designated as a general business district in unincorporated Shelby County and includes a pawn shop that would be demolished to make room for two restaurants and a 12,600-square-foot commercial building, said Jonathan Belcher, president of Signature Homes, who works with Terra Equities to the suggestion.

Immediately south of the 4.5 acres of commercial land to be developed by Terra Equities, further off US 280, would be the 11 acres for the 120 townhouses, according to plans submitted to the City of Hoover.

To the west is an AT&T building and self-storage facility, and to the east are several apartment buildings, including mobile homes, along Lyndon Drive.

Signature Homes and Terra Equities are also requesting that the land be annexed to Hoover if their rezoning application is approved by the council. The Hoover Planning and Zoning Commission on Jan. 10 recommended that the City Council approve the zoning application.

Belcher said the residential portion of the development is expected to be a $40 million project.

He suggests two- and three-bedroom townhouses, each around 1,600 square feet, likely priced in the high $200,000 range. He plans to model the development after the Edenton Lofts that Signature Homes developed on Cahaba Beach Road in 2010.

Neither townhouse would have a garage, but there would be 225 parking spaces for residents, Belcher said. That’s a higher ratio of parking spaces per townhome than Signature Homes at Edenton Lofts, and there haven’t been any problems with insufficient parking spaces.

Based on past experience, Belcher said he would expect one in 10 townhomes to enroll a child for the Hoover school system. The Hoover school system has increased capacity to serve more children east of the city.

The commercial portion of the development, to be handled by Terra Equities, is expected to be a $10.3 million project and will include 190 parking spaces for the two restaurants and third commercial building, Belcher said.

The commercial property should generate estimated total revenues of $16 to $17 million per year, Belcher said. That would mean $560,000 to $595,000 in annual sales taxes for the city of Hoover, $640,000 to $680,000 in annual sales taxes for the state, $80,000 to $85,000 in annual sales taxes for Shelby County, and $80,000 to $85,000 in annual sales taxes for Shelby County schools.

It should also generate $44,000 to $45,000 a year in property taxes for the school system, while the homeownership should generate about $66,000 a year in property taxes for the school system, Belcher said.

Hoover City Councilman Mike Shaw said that when this project was first presented to the planning committee in November, he knew there were many technology jobs at nearby Meadow Brook Corporate Park, and he would like to see places where these workers could work in could live nearby, so this way of living in this place appeals to him.

The property that Signature Homes and Terra Equities want to buy is now owned by Sam’s Real Estate Investment Trust and Sharit Real Estate Holdings.

The city council is also expected to consider several changes to the city’s building code ordinance on February 21, including changes that would do the following:

► Create a dedicated zoning district for senior living/retiree communities, separate from independent and assisted living centers, designed to accommodate multi-family communities designed for people ages 55 and older that are less similar to institutional senior living facilities.

► Create a dedicated zone district for gyms and fitness/exercise centers.

► Permit higher buildings in commercial areas with conditional use permits.

► Reclassify filling stations as conditional uses in planned commercial areas.

► Provide additional off-street parking for townhouse developments.

The Zone Committee recommended approval of these and several other changes.

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