Pelham could see new luxury apartment complex, retail center

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

By KATIE MCDOWELL/Managing Editor

PELHAM – The city of Pelham could see the construction of a luxury apartment complex and retail development on Huntley Parkway if the Pelham Planning Commission decides to rezone part of the area.

C & A Enterprises LLC has requested that the Commission rezone parts of Huntley Parkway, which is currently PR-1 Planned Single Family District and PR-2 Planned Attached Family District.

Approximately 14.83 acres, located across from Huntley Apartments, would be rezoned to PR-3 Planned Multiple Family District. Another 4.64 acres, also located on Huntely Parkway, would be rezoned to PC Planned Commercial District.

The Commission voted to table the decisions until its Aug. 8 meeting to give members more time to review plans for the developments.

Mildred Lanier, chair of the Planning Commission, said the retail complex would feature several businesses, but they haven’t been identified yet.

If the rezoning is approved, Grand Reserve Apartment complex will be built on Huntley Parkway. The current zoning ordinance would allow 148 apartment units, but the owners requested an additional 80 units for a total of 228 units during the meeting.

“It doesn’t work at 148 for us. That’s why we’re requesting 228,” Steve Corbett, co-owner of Grand Reserve Apartments

The proposed complex would include 72 one-bedroom units, 108 two-bedroom units and 48 three-bedroom units. It would also include a lot of green space, a large pool and a clubhouse.

Several residents and Commission members voiced concerns about safety and increased traffic on Shelby County 52 during the meeting.

Juston Trimback, co-owner of Grand Reserve Apartments, said the residents of the complex will have to pass a criminal background check, credit check and make three times the rent each month. It will also have a gated entrance with video monitoring. The proposed complex would also have four to six courtesy police officer living on site in exchange for a 50 percent discount on rent.

Trimback said he and Corbett will continue to play a role in the management of the complex after it is built.

“We don’t build them and then turn around a sell them a year down the road. We’re involved. We don’t leave the management up to someone else,” he said.

Trimback said the complex would be constructed with fire-resistant materials. The bottom floor of each building would be made of brick and the rest of HardiePlank siding. Each unit would also have a sprinkler system, and concrete and other fire-resistant material would be used between units.

Pelham Fire Chief Danny Ray said he was concerned about the “density,” or the large number of people in one building, because it increases the fire risk. However, he said the use of fire-resistant materials lowers that risk.

“That’s a big plus. That sprinkler system and the construction materials, they’re going to make my job easier,” he said.

Several residents voiced concerns about the traffic flow on Shelby County 52, which backs up when drivers access I-65.

A study presented by the company found that traffic would “continue to operate with acceptable levels of service” if the apartment complex is developed.

“The proposed development is expected to generate approximately 115 new trips during the morning peak hour and 143 new trips during the afternoon peak hour,” according to the study.

The study also suggested some roadway improvements to ease potential traffic problems.

Lanier said “congestion is definitely an issue.” However, she said she was impressed by the plans for the apartment complex and acknowledged that any development would increase traffic.

“We definitely want development out there. That’s not a question,” she said. “We just want to make sure we do what’s best for the city.”