A lightning rod for opponents of growth and density along Coleman Boulevard in booming Mount Pleasant is poised to get bigger.
The Boulevard, a four-story complex of apartments and commercial space, will head into a second phase of building, barring unexpected snags at Town Council's meeting July 8. Its planning committee approved conceptual plans Monday.
The development, designed as an upscale urban centerpiece of Coleman revitalization efforts, has drawn the ire of some residents. They contend it overpowers Coleman and has created parking nightmares along nearby residential streets.
The next phase calls for 105 apartments in three buildings, each three stories high.
In its plans, Chicago investment firm Heitman, which bought The Boulevard from The Beach Co., cited "the overwhelming success of this development and the growing demand for luxury apartments and pedestrian-friendly retail" in Mount Pleasant.
Construction of the units, which mostly front Pherigo and King streets, is expected to begin in early 2015 and would take a year.
Key to the new construction would be a 311-space parking garage to serve residents of both phases.
Parking issues have fueled nearby residents' anger because apartment residents jam adjacent streets rather than pay to park in the complex's parking garage, residents and council members said.
"It's terrible and needs to be fixed," Councilman Mark Smith said.
The new spaces would increase parking to three spaces per unit. Plus, the new owner will work parking garage fees into leases from now on to encourage residents to park there, said Jason Munday, senior civil engineer at Seamon Whiteside & Associates.
"Our intention and plan is to enhance parking," Munday said.
Council Elton Carrier, who lives nearby, said that last weekend he counted 40 cars parked on King, a quiet street of single-family homes.
"That is totally unacceptable," Carrier said. "They are everywhere, and the garage is empty."
He told Munday to "please go back and tell your developer that we're not happy with phase one."
About 75 percent of the new apartments would be studio and one-bedroom units. Rents would run about $825 to $2,600 a month.
The development is part of a larger effort to funnel more dense development along urban corridors in rapidly growing Mount Pleasant, known for its large, affluent residential subdivisions.
Reach Jennifer Hawes at 937-5563, follow her on Twitter at @JenBerryHawes or subscribe to her at facebook.com/jennifer.b.hawes.
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