Brentwood developers envision big changes for downtown - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Brentwood developers envision big changes for downtown


A bold plan for downtown Brentwood would completely change the look of a busy part of town. Developers say it's badly needed, but those against it say it's just going to add more traffic to an already congested area.

The development would include retail, condos and restaurants, but some neighbors says it's too much.

Despite big growth in recent years, Michael Hindman says one thing is still missing in Brentwood: a town square.

"Brentwood has never had a central commercial district," said Hindman, an architect and spokesman for the proposed "Streets of Brentwood."

The roughly 900,000-square-foot project is planned for 17 acres near the corner of Franklin Road and Maryland Farms.

"It will have retail. It will have offices. It will have residential," Hindman said.

It would also include a hotel and movie theater.

But neighbors like Gerald Withcer says it's not what the city needs.

"The real issue is you're trying to put too many people and too much stuff in a small area," Withcer said.

Withcer and about a dozen others have started the group "Preserve Brentwood," which hopes to create a collective voice to take before the city commission, who would have to approve the special town center zoning.

"We're going to have significant traffic issues. We're going to have an undue burden on our schools and force some of our residents to be rezoned. We may indeed have some crime issues associated with these changes," Withcer said.

Hindman, also a Brentwood resident, said he's listened to neighbors' concerns and as a result developers have reduced the project by 50,000 square feet, decreased the height of proposed buildings and agreed to move the development further back from the property line.

"So we've tried to respond in several ways," Hindman said.

Folks with Preserve Brentwood say they are willing to compromise. One suggestion they have are to keep the offices, retail and restaurants and get rid of the hotel and condos.

Developers are expected to come up with a new proposal soon for the commission to vote on at its next meeting set for Feb. 25.

The Preserve Brentwood group is meeting Thursday to discuss the plans at the library branch on Concord Road at 8 p.m.

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