December 15, 2020

Collierville Approves Multifamily Units in First Phase of Water Tower District

The Daily Memphian

Collierville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a preliminary site plan that includes duplexes, triplexes and townhomes at Schilling Farms.

The proposal was approved in a 5-1 vote. Alderman Billy Patton cast the lone vote of opposition, saying he wanted to see more retail or office space.

Boyle Investment Company’s newest component to its mixed-use development, easily seen from Poplar Avenue and Winchester Boulevard, includes 257 units in the first phase of the Water Tower District.

The Planning Commission recommended approval of the proposal in August.

“Schilling Farms is the premier mixed-used development in West Tennessee and the Mid-South region,” John Duncan, Collierville’s director of economic development, said. “The Water Tower District continues Boyle’s thoughtful elevation of the property.”

Schilling Farms’ outline plan was approved in 1991, but amended in 2009 to help allow for mixed-uses within buildings and to help create pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.

The previously approved outline plan allows up to 1,725 units within the mixed-use development. If the board denied the proposal, they could face legal fees, as Monday’s proposal was in line with the outline plan.

Schilling Farms already has 1,180 multifamily units. With Monday’s approval, an additional 288 could be approved in the future for the mixed-use development.

The Water Tower District won’t contain only multifamily residential units. The project will be completed in two phases. In addition to apartments, the first phase includes 50,000 square feet of office space and 40,000 square feet of retail. Completion of phase one is estimated by the end of 2021.

Patton said he understood the property owners had vested rights, but he would like to see more retail or office space. After the meeting, he noted the developers want the multi-family units to benefit profit, but did not want it “become a problem for the town of Collierville.” He noted multi-family units can put strain on the town’s schools and services, like police and fire.

The second phase will look for approval at a later date, but Boyle officials are hopeful to submit the request in 2021. The company will request about 200 more apartments, two hotels with 100 rooms each and another 150,000 square feet of office space. The developers expect it to be completed in 2028 if it can gain the necessary approvals.