Owner: Time for project to begin

A shopping center planned just off Interstate 65 in Greenwood has renewed plans to bring a new apartment complex to the east side.

More than 10 years ago, the city of Greenwood approved plans for a new apartment complex on land on the south side of County Line Road, between Graham and Combs roads. But when the housing market began to plummet, those plans were put on hold.

Now, landowner Hal Lambert has proposed building Wildcat Ridge, an upscale apartment complex on about 54 of the 70 acres he owns. The property is just east of the site of the new Greenwood Town Center, a 700,000-square-foot shopping center that is planned to be built just off I-65 at Graham and County Line roads.

“There’s a sense that development is heading a certain direction. Near brand new, commercial development, that’s where people like to live,” Lambert said. “We believe we have a good site. Plans for a Cabela’s and a number of other developments have come and gone. We have been very patient. (Development) seems to be finally happening and we feel the time is now.”

Wildcat Ridge will have about 30, two-story buildings and 550 units total, Lambert said. The complex will feature one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Each unit will have a garage below where tenants can park their cars and enter their apartment, Lambert said. Lambert has not yet determined how much each unit will cost per month, he said.

But before the apartments can be built, about 13 of the 54 acres will need to be rezoned to multi-family residential from commercial, Lambert said.

After he halted plans for the original apartment complex about 12 years ago, a portion of the land was rezoned for commercial use by the city of Greenwood. Lambert doesn’t believe he will have any problems getting the rezoning approved because his original plans were approved at the time he decided not to go forward with construction, he said.

The type of apartment complex Lambert plans to develop goes along with the city’s long-term plans for the east side of I-65, Mayor Mark Myers said.

Greenwood’s comprehensive plan, which maps out the type of development best suited for certain areas, calls for a mixture of commercial development, such as the Greenwood Town Center, and multi-family homes like the apartments Lambert has planned, planning director Bill Peeples said.

If the rezoning is approved, and Lambert gets plans approved by the city, he hopes to be able to start construction by the fall and have the apartment complex finished by 2018. The first phase of construction will build out about 300 apartments, with the second phase building the rest, Lambert said.

He also is looking at options for land near the entrance of the complex off Graham Road. He owns about 14 acres of land north and south of the proposed apartments, and wants to sell them to a commercial developer, he said.

The Greenwood Town Center will help spur commercial development in the area, he said.

“Greenwood Town Center has been a catalyst to cause us to go forward with these plans,” Lambert said. “I think this will be a nice use of the property.”

Corey Elliot is a reporter at the Daily Journal. He can be reached at celliot@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2719.