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ROGERS -- A $100 million development may create a place where folks can live, work and play without leaving the immediate area or even needing a vehicle.

The city's Planning Commission unanimously approved on Tuesday the preliminary concept plans for West Village to include nearly 300 high-end apartments, a boutique hotel, retail space and restaurants. The investors are led by Johnelle Hunt, Andrew and David Burnett, said attorney Bill Watkins, who represented the project during the commission meeting.

Commission action

Rogers Planning Commission met Tuesday and approved:

• A request by Paulo Torres to rezone the northwest corner intersection of South Dixieland Road and West Laurel Avenue from agricultural to the residential single-family zoning district.

• A request by Avance Business Solutions for a permit allowing self-storage at 128 N 13th St. in the highway commercial zoning district.

Source: Staff report

"I am excited to bring together the wonderful teams of Hunt Ventures, Sage Partners, and Urban5 Development to create this project that I believe will provide a great addition to the Northwest Arkansas community," Hunt said in statement. "The vision we share is to develop a unique identity to provide residents and visitors an unparalleled experience in the region."

The development of 15.69 acres will be between South Champions Drive and Pinnacle Hills Parkway just north of the roundabout on Pauline Whitaker Parkway. It will bring a "walkable" mixed-use project to Pinnacle Hills, not far from the Country Club, Watkins said. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018.

Plans include a mix of retail and office often in the same structure, Watkins said. Developers will make use of new urbanism technique to keep natural spaces a priority. Landscaping will include planting 400 large trees.

It "maximizes open space to create a village atmosphere with emphasis on walkability and public open space," according to a Community Development staff report.

"The green commons and squares that are normally absent from post-50s commercial space are present in this design," Watkins said while addressing Planning Commission. "It's feasible that someone could live here, work here, socialize here, get on a bicycle and get along just fine."

West Village will be completed in two phases. Offices, apartments, a parking garage and commercial space will be completed in the first phase. Brownstones along the west side of the property will be built in the second phase. Both will avoid urban sprawl and opt for efficient use of land, Watkins said.

The city staff report echoed that claim of efficient land use, efficient public facilities use, usable space and preservation of natural features.

Pinnacle Hills resident Jim Schwartz said he wasn't opposed to the project but wondered how parking issues might be resolved in the future.

"My main concern is all the parking that is there for an event at the [Walmart] AMP, LPGA or other large venues," Schwartz said. "Mrs. Hunt is generous to let people park on that lot, but something should go."

Planning Commission Chairman Don Spann said other resources could be taken advantage of in the event of scarce parking and gave the anecdote of taking a bus from the Embassy Suites parking lot to get to the LPGA tournament. The proposed project will include a multi-story parking garage that will increase capacity.

Watkins said the plans include 600 parking spaces and a traffic study of the area is underway.

Spann also reminded residents the Planning Commission will be the watchmen of traffic, sight lines and all other important details of the project in coming meetings.

"Whatever we approve has to be built, they cannot change or waiver of that, going to be a controlled process," Spann said. He encouraged residents to attend those future meetings.

Commissioner Mark Myers seconded the interest in the traffic study and said the developers had done their job and planned well.

NW News on 09/06/2017

Print Headline: 'Walkable' community imagined for Pinnacle Hills

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