New project ‘like nothing you’ve seen’

Published 11:50 am Tuesday, June 14, 2022

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Main Street Village Point LLC receives zoning approval for mixed-use buildings with multifamily and commercial/retail space

By Jim Buice

When describing a proposed development in Clemmons, David Morgan, manager of Main Street Village Point LLC, said in Monday night’s meeting that “it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen here before.”
And obviously the Clemmons Village Council agreed, unanimously approving Zoning Docket C-246 for mixed-use buildings containing 156 multifamily units and 4,240 square feet of commercial/retail space on 6.62 acres in Village Point.
Morgan said that his group started with the project in Clemmons in 2016 or 2017.
“It was a challenge to say the least because we wanted to make it different than anything else that was done in this area,” he said during the public hearing prior to approval. “We’re local folks. We saw the need, and we saw that we could make something better than what you have around here.”
Ricky Adkins, who is also part of Main Street Village Point LLC, said: “We’ve been able to get together and meet and work through some concerns that you folks had about the project.
We remain very excited about the projected significant value add to the Village of Clemmons.
“It fits a specific need and vision that the Small Area Plan laid out some 19 years ago. It’s also a pedestrian friendly downtown, and we feel it has great connectivity and walkability to the Village Point Town Center and quite frankly other businesses and restaurants nearby.”
In addition to the positive local economic impact, Adkins said that the development will create “an attractive addition to the area with the upscale luxury living environment and a commercial and retail component. It certainly will not be like most of the apartments in the vicinity.”
Planner Nasser Rahimzadeh said that issues such as density, parking and height restrictions were brought up in the Planning Board meeting prior to the project coming before the council but that it still received unanimous approval.
No opponents spoke in opposition to the project in the public hearing.
Council member Mary Cameron said she wanted to thank the Main Street Village Point group for working with the village and “being willing to that extra mile to produce something we could be happy with. It’s a unique area, and we want it to stay that way.”
Cameron said that it conforms to the Clemmons Community Compass, Village Point Small Area Plan and Village Transportation Plan.
“I was reading in the Small Area Plan where it talks about upscale multifamily housing units, residents able to walk to nearby shops, restaurants, entertainment, etc., and it checks all those boxes,” Cameron said. “I like the fact that you have added commercial to it, which is keeping in what we were looking for. There are four stories across the street with the motel (Holiday Inn Express), so it’s not that much different in what is already there.”
Cameron added she would very much like to see a connection and/or walking trails to the nearby Jerry Long Family YMCA, and Morgan said he had reached out in that regard.
“I did contact the Y because we had some interest in connectivity between the two,” Morgan said. “I took some drawings by and didn’t get a chance to talk to them but did make an offer that we would be willing to donate some money, and let’s have some connection between our property and the Y. I’m still working on that.”
Adkins said that Main Street Village Point would also add two crosswalks to complete that intersection.
Also in Monday night’s meeting, Rahimzadeh brought up the possibility of pursuing some type of safety grant based on availability of funds from various sources, and perhaps combining it with transportation to expand the reach.
Rahimzadeh said there are grants ranging from $200,000 up to $50 million with a 20% local match, and he said that although many aren’t a fit for Clemmons, he mentioned a Safe Streets and Roads grant program that might be a possibility to explore.
Council member Mike Combest said that this “might be ideal for the school congestion and safety that we’ve been talking about.”
Council member Chris Wrights pointed out that his only concern there was that the village is already doing a study for the schools and traffic, and that he didn’t want to delay any of the short-term goals with grant funding being further down the road.
“Figuring out the process is an important piece of it,” said council member Michelle Barson, who added there are going to be short-term, mid-term and long-term solutions, “so wherever this can fall into play, I think there will be value to it for our schools.”
Council consensus was reached for Rahimzadeh and Combest to work on this plan.
In the attorney’s report, Elliot Fus reported that the $600,000 contract for the sale earlier this year of a 14.7-acre property owned by Clemmons at 2848 Harper Road has been terminated.
Fus said that the village recently received a letter from Henson Realty, the buyer, giving notice of the decision not to purchase the property and receiving a return of the earnest money.
“As you may recall, they had an examination period in which they could basically back out of the contract if they liked, and they were within that examination period,” Fus said. “They had some requests regarding zoning that we did not wish to meet, so they backed out.
“So we’re back to square one, I suppose, with that property. If council wishes to take some further actions to try to dispose of it, we can pursue that, or if you just want to let it lay for a while in light of this not working out, that’s possible as well.”
The council did not indicate a preference in the meeting.
In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:
• Adopted the budget ordinance and set the stormwater utility fee for fiscal year beginning July 1, 2022, and ending June 30, 2023. The total operating budget for the two major funds is $10,698,065 for the General Fund and $1,718,260 for the Stormwater Fund (with the utility fee per residential unit of $7.50 per month/$90 per year).
• Appointed Tom Mekis, who currently serves on the Planning Board, to another term; and appointed David Orrell and Erin Rega to regular positions on the Zoning Board of Adjustment and David Corn to an alternate position. Rega and Corn currently service in the same roles.
• Approved a new employee retention policy, which features a number of perks, including providing a birthday holiday, employee appreciation longevity pay based on length of service, insurance assistance for those with extended coverage, vacation accrual, and sign-on bonuses for referrals and new employees.
• Voted to extend the term of the contract of attorney Blanco Tackabery & Matamoros PA through June 30, 2023.
• Approved resolutions for tax collection by the Forsyth County Tax Collection for collection of 2022 taxes along with collection of 2021 and prior years’ taxes.
• Approved an American Rescue Plan Act property management policy.
• Shared a contracts renewal policy for review with possible action in the next meeting.