Neighbors learn more about proposed Hill Farms redevelopment

Neighbors learn more about proposed Hill Farms redevelopment

Nearly 200 residents packed a west side church Wednesday to learn more about and get feedback on a proposed private redevelopment of the site of the soon-to-be-vacated Hill Farms state office building.

At a neighborhood meeting at Covenant Presbyterian Church on Segoe Road, representatives from Summit Smith Development showcased their plans for the proposed development, called “Madison Yards at Hill Farms.”

It would be one of the largest and most expensive developments in city history and include apartments, offices, retail outlets, a hotel, restaurants, parking and an outdoor plaza.

The current Hill Farms building, set to be replaced by a new office building in 2018, would be torn down.

Alders Arvina Martin and Mark Clear were present.

Martin, who represents District 11, where the project is located, said she thinks the project would be a benefit to the area, but said some neighbors have concerns over the proposal.

“It’ll mean a lot more people coming into the area,” she said. “I think it’s kind of a natural extension of the development that’s been happening at Hilldale. I think it’s going to be a great boon to the area.”

Martin said some of her constituents have expressed concerns over stormwater runoff generated by the site, particularly in the winter, when road salt is heavily used. She said some neighbors are also worried about the proposed building heights and traffic that would be generated by the development.

During the meeting, developers said they would ensure the complex has a proper drainage system and said traffic lights would likely be added to University Avenue, among other things.

Martin said the project is destined for the city’s Urban Design Commission, which will ultimately have to give it the go-ahead.

Developers said if the project is approved, they hope to start construction next fall and finish the complex two to three years later.