Blair House Redevelopment Approved, Should Begin Late 2009
Despite concerns raised by some Braeswood Place residents, the City of Southside Place has given the go-ahead for Koontz McCombs to redevelop the Blair House Apartments at 4139 Bellaire Blvd. into a 269-unit, four-story apartment complex with a five-level parking garage that is accessible only from Academy.
The purchase of the property by Koontz McCombs, out of San Antonio, from PROKOP Industries, was contingent on Southside Place granting several variances, which were approved by council after a public hearing last night.
Construction is expected to begin late this year, and be complete in 2010.
The variances to the city’s Medium Intensity Mixed Use district ordinances include increased density from the allowed 20 units per acre to 64 units, four stories rather than the allowed three stories, a 55 foot height to include a 5-foot wall to hide mounted equipment on the roof, rather than the allowed 50-feet, and a minimum square footage per unit area of 690 sq. ft. rather than 1,200 sq. ft.
The Blair House is currently non-conforming, as the complex was grandfathered in to the current ordinance.
The redevelopment is estimated to increase the property value of the land from the current $7.7 million to $41 million, which would bring Southside Place about $100,000 more per year in property tax revenue.
Although many Braeswood Place residents have expressed concern about traffic on Academy due to the 400-space parking garage, a traffic engineering study performed by Traffic Engineers, Inc. for Koontz McCombs states “analysis of the traffic impacts associated with the redevelopment project indicate that the 269-unit apartment complex will have no material impact on traffic operations along Bellaire Boulevard. The 87-unit increase in density is not statistically significant due to the improved site access and elimination of head-in, off-street parking, coupled with available roadway capacity on Bellaire Boulevard.”
Along with the parking garage for residents off Academy, there will be 16 parking spaces for visitors off of Bellaire Boulevard.
According to the study, the average delay experienced by motorists at the intersections of Bellaire Boulevard and Academy during the morning and evening peak hours will be increased by three seconds or less.
The traffic study, focused on the affect of traffic along Bellaire Boulevard, adds that the efficiency and safety of Bellaire Boulevard will be improved by the elimination of head in, off-street parking on Academy and Bellaire Boulevard as well as increasing the amount of traffic turning left at the light from Bellaire Boulevard to Academy, rather than turning left at the median.