The developer of the project, Realty Capital Management, is seeking to rezone a 38-acre tract of land at the northeast corner of Hwy. 377 and Mt. Gilead Road from commercial to commercial/residential.
Known as Center Stage, the 38-acre mixed-use development is planned to include 70 single-family residential lots, 550 apartment lofts and 59,500 square feet of commercial space for retail, restaurants and offices.
At the Jan. 14 P&Z commission meeting, more than two dozen Keller residents voiced their opinions on the Center Stage project, with the vast majority of residents opposed to the residential aspects.
“People have accused Keller residents of being classist,” Keller resident Ben Nelson told the commission. “I’m for new apartments ... not for a mixed-use development 200 feet from my driveway.”
“550 apartments and 70 homes ... all of those [car trips] on our Keller roads that are already overloaded,” resident Joan Boyle said. “The people that live along there will not be able to get out of their driveways.”
As part of the 2003 Engler Settlement, more than 300 acres of land near Hwy. 377—which includes the 38-acre proposed lot for Center Stage, the Marshall Ridge neighborhood and Milestone Church—is zoned as commercial with a land-use designation of industrial/commercial.
City officials noted that the zoning designation of the proposed site for Center Stage allows for the construction of retail, hotels, office space, warehouse and distribution plants but not residential projects.
“My family is 100% behind this proposal to develop that land into a mixed-use zone,” Marshall Ridge resident Chip Root said. “I’d like to see a place that’s walking distance for my family to go have dinner.”
“Traffic on Mt. Gilead has gotten crazy,” Keller resident Barry Johnston said. “We don’t need apartments. I don’t mind a restaurant and some shopping, but please, no apartments.”
After a lengthy discussion, the P&Z commission recommended approval for rezoning to City Council by a 6-1 vote. Council is expected to vote on the issue at a meeting Jan. 21.