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N. Hall development plans call for more housing

Apartments, restaurants, retail included in proposal

POSTED: September 25, 2012 11:37 p.m.

A Murrayville developer has redrawn plans for an 82-acre graded site at a prominent North Hall intersection, ramping up its residential proposal and scaling back its commercial one.

Riverbrook Village Development Partners LLC is set to go before the Hall County Planning Commission on Monday with proposed changes to its master plan for the development, which sits in the northwest corner of Price and Thompson Bridge roads.

Changes include reducing commercial square footage from 373,450 to 316,000 and going from more than 60 attached townhomes to 288 apartment units. The commercial side is 60 acres and the apartment site, 22 acres.

“The overall vision of Riverbrook Village is to become a mixed-use development with retail shopping, restaurants, commercial outparcels and a gated residential apartment community,” a planning document states.

According to the document, plans call for infrastructure, such as driveways and a sewer pump station, to be in place by the end of 2013; apartment complex construction to be completed by the end of 2015; and construction of the retail and outparcel buildings by the end of 2016.

“We would envision all grading being completed by the first of next year and construction of the first phase of approximately 80 apartments to begin shortly afterward and completed by the end of 2014,” said Robbie Robison, principal with McKibbon-Robison.

McKibbon-Robison, which formed Riverbrook Village Development Partners for the project, announced the project in a news release Tuesday.

The company especially cited the $8 million apartment complex, which it says would “introduce an emerging trend in multi-family construction featuring greater environmental sustainability, healthier lifestyles and high-speed Internet communications.”

“This would be the area’s first new apartment community of this size in several years,” said developer Steve McKibbon, a principal with McKibbon-Robison.

“Furthermore, we intend for the economic success of this project to be shared by our entire community. We will focus on hiring locally as much as possible in our construction and eventually generating local jobs.”

Development impact fees are estimated to range up to $300,000, the news release states.

The three-story Riverbrook apartments are expected to draw primarily active seniors “not quite ready to transition into an assisted-living community,” younger empty-nester couples with grown children and area graduate students “who prefer not to settle down in a permanent residence for the short term,” states the release.

Apartments would feature fiber-optic cable, high-speed Internet service and home-office areas, as well as several miles of nature trails and electric-cart pathways.

The 82-acre site, owned by McKibbon-Robison since 2007, features a lone CVS pharmacy at the corner of Price and Thompson Bridge.

Further development had been delayed due to the recession, officials said.

“We now feel the time is right to move forward,” McKibbon said. “Plus, in our talks with potential commercial tenants, it is clear that they are interested in more rooftops before they commit to Riverbrook.”

That feedback was key in prompting the change in residential plans, he added.

If the planning commission approves the plans, the proposal then would go to the Hall County Board of Commissioners, which has final say.


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