August 07, 2020

Collierville Endorses Schilling Farms Multifamily Units

The Daily Memphian

By Abigail Warren

The Collierville Planning Commission endorsed 256 additional multifamily units at Schilling Farms between Poplar and Winchester.

The positive recommendation for a new neighborhood – the Water Tower District – includes 16.29 acres already zoned for mixed-use and multifamily. The development will include town homes, duplexes, triplexes and flats and range from one to three bedrooms.

Les Binkley, Boyle Investment Company vice-president, acknowledged this is “one of the most complicated residential developments” the company has done and thanked Nancy Boatwright, assistant town planner, for her assistance during the application process.

He acknowledged the “intricate” design of the neighborhood. Buildings will look unique, not repetitive. Elevator apartment buildings are rare in the suburban market and the project proposes several.

He said the projected can “capture” all ages adding “richness” to neighborhoods.

Due to prior reviews of the entire Schilling Farms project, the development could have up to 289 more multifamily units if the mayor and aldermen approve this neighborhood proposal. The entire project is allowed to have up to 1,725 units, and 1,180 were previously approved and built.

Boyle will seek retail as part of this project at a later date, Binkley said. This phase includes 2,193 square feet of nonresidential space for the leasing office and neighborhood amenities.

Alderman John Worley pointed out the mayor and aldermen are not “aggressively seeking apartments.” He said there were entitlements given to this long ago – before most commissioners and aldermen were in their position.

Commission Chairman Greg Cotton acknowledged the project already was granted the total number of apartments in the outline plan.

“You may not agree with the number of apartments, but they are what they are,” Cotton said, noting there needed to be solid reasoning if they were to turn it down.

Worley said if they rejected the plan, there would likely be a lawsuit, to which Rusty Bloodworth, Boyle executive vice-president, nodded his head.

No residents appeared before the commission to address the project.

One component of the commission’s review included traffic impacts. A traffic study submitted with the application said minor delays could be created near the site including at Schilling Farms Boulevard W and Poplar Avenue.

Jaime Groce, town planner, said the project will likely appear before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in September. They may ask for the company to make improvements along Poplar at that time.

IMC Companies is making its headquarters home at Schilling Farms. Binkley said his company would like more large businesses to make their home in the development, and a project like the Water Tower District helps encourage their move to Collierville.