Lakewood Theater: Photo by Danny Fulgencio

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The faucet-parts store in Lakewood just off Gaston at Abrams could become a six-story apartment building if a developer has its way.

Nashville-based Southern Land Co. has requested a zoning change for the site of Teter’s Faucet Parts Center on Oram. The developer is asking the City to approve about twice as much density as existing zoning allows.

Currently allowed is a five-story building with a 50/50 mix of residential and commercial uses, and floor area of approximately 63,837 square feet on the .977-acre site.

Southern Land wants to be able to use up to 159,593 square feet to build apartments and a parking garage. While the developer is seeking six stories, the project would stay under the existing 75-foot height limit in the current zoning, excepting mechanical equipment on the rooftop.

The developer wants to build about 160 apartments averaging 950 square feet each. There would be underground parking as well as one level of above-ground garage parking, according to the zoning change application. At least one parking space per bedroom would be provided, in excess of the minimum requirement.

While apartments would comprise the entire project, the developer “has agreed to develop the ground floor to appear like retail and to engage the street frontage on Oram.” The property is right behind part of the Lakewood shopping center, with a Valvoline center separating it from Zoe’s Mediterranean restaurant.

For such a dense commercial area, the Gaston/Abrams area lacks walkability.

As part of its zoning-change application, the developer included a proposal to help Lakewood neighbors come up with a “vision plan” for how to make the neighborhood more pedestrian friendly. Southern Land has the resources, in the way of engineers and planners, to help create a plan to correct problems such as dangerous crossings and irregular sidewalks, says Todd Marchesani, the company’s Dallas-based acquisitions manager.

Southern Land’s application says the company “has met proactively with neighborhood leaders over the past several months and has agreed to create a Neighborhood Vision to help guide future development and infrastructure improvements in Lakewood.” That would include “ways to improve the pedestrian experience along Gaston and Oram,” as well as looking for ways to improve traffic flow around their property.

The application noted that even though developer “is not responsible to making these off-site improvements, as new neighbors to Lakewood, they willingly jumped at the opportunity to create a Neighborhood Vision for the neighbors and City to use to make desirable improvements.”

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