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Is there a Heights highrise in the works?

When Tiffany tells me to blog about something, I listen, so with that in mind let me point you to this HAIF thread, and this post in particular, about what might be the future site of a highrise on White Oak, next to Onion Creek, between Studewood and Heights Boulevard. It’s unclear at this point if this “mixed use development opportunity” on 25,000 square feet of land will in fact develop into something Ashbyesque, as the illustration on the real estate agent’s advert implies – as of now, at least, no permits have been pulled. But just for the record, here’s the case against anything like that:

Put simply, the same objections as Ashby exist. The scale is all wrong. There would be a big impact on traffic, mostly from ins and outs. It’s already the case that you have to dodge people pulling into and out of the Onion Creek parking lot. This development would also be a stone’s throw from the Viewpoint development (see here, here, and here for background on that), which would put even more pressure on not just the one-lane-each-way White Oak, but on the little side streets that surround these projects. Some of this could be mitigated by infrastructure improvements, but we all know how that goes.

This may wind up as much ado about nothing if the scale is reasonable, or it may turn into Ashby 2: The Wrath of Khan. The Heights Kids email list is already buzzing about it, so you can be sure that all relevant elected officials know about it by now. Who knows, maybe by the time there’s a buyer we’ll have had a comprehensive overhaul of our land use regulations, rendering the whole thing moot. Stranger things have happened.

UPDATE: Swamplot has more. Just to be clear, I agree with John in the comments that a midrise mixed-use development would be a good thing. White Oak has been in need of renewal for a long time, and something like that would be a good fit. But the scale matters. A 14-story tower is too much. I hope what’s in the works, if anything is actually planned as of now, is more modest than that.

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2 Comments

  1. John says:

    Has the developer (Rizk) done anything in town? Their web site kind of screams, “We make cookie cutter suburban crap,” and makes me wonder if they understand the location at all.

    I think it would be a very good location for a mid-rise with street level retail, though. There’s already enough going on along White Oak there that it would be a positive thing.

  2. Baby Snooks says:

    Will be interesting to see if the mayor huffs and puffs and threatens to blow this hirise down as well.