Industry officials predict Property values rising with development

Industry officials predict
Property values rising with development

Northside Sun
Posted: 07/25/08 - 08:45:51 am CDT

INDUSTRY EXPERTS SAY Renaissance at Colony Park will have a positive effect on residential property values west of Highland Colony Parkway, but a member of a Ridgeland advocacy group maintains the mixed-use development will eventually lessen the quality of life in that area.

“I actually feel like it will be going down because of Renaissance,” Janet Clark of ZONE, or Zoning Ordinances Need Enforcement, said. “I think by the time they get to their 30,000 cars a day, it won’t be as desirable. If roads are built, maybe it will be OK. But I don’t have a good feeling about it.”

Colony Park extends south from Old Agency Road north to the Madison city limits. ZONE claims Ridgeland ignores its own ordinances, such as allowing buildings in Renaissance to be constructed higher than the zoned four-story limit, and contends developer H.C. Bailey continues to receive favorable treatment from city officials for “a bill of goods.”

Last December, Mayor Gene McGee cast the tie-breaking, 4-3 vote to approve a variance request to build a $70 million tower at 200 Renaissance. Bailey altered his original plan to build 17 stories as a compromise with those opposing it. City officials in October authorized an exception to allow the 13-story building in an area zoned for buildings no taller than four stories.

And although it opposed Ridgeland granting a height variance from four stories to six to Hyatt Place Hotel in March, ZONE did not appeal that decision. Instead, it has turned its focus on 200 Renaissance, where Regions Bank, Horne CPA Group,S and Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens and Cannada Law Firm are expected to move notwithstanding Madison County Circuit Court action to block construction.

But Mark Frascogna of Neopolis Development Group of Flowood said he expects Renaissance and the residential area west of Highland Colony Parkway to coexist n and thrive.

“I THINK THE EFFECT should actually be positive for the foreseeable future,” he said. “The location is so outstanding, particularly with the natural buffers you have there with the interstate and the school. Absent major apartment complexes, I think property values should be fine.”

Neopolis is the developer of Lost Rabbit in Madison.

Renaissance, which opened several months ago, is on Old Agency Road west of I-55. In Colony Park, the mixed-use development is among four others on the parkway that extends from West County Line Road in Ridgeland to Mississippi 463 in Madison.

Concourse, Quorum and Crescent are office parks. Township is another mixed-use development.

Subdivisions west of the parkway include Canterbury, Windrush, Old Agency Village, Carlton Park and Dinsmor. Homes also line Rolling Meadows Road.

Clark said residents are considering creating guard houses as commercial development continues near the parkway.

“There’s a feeling our neighborhoods are going to be discovered and it isn’t going to be a safe country place anymore.”

That community, though, probably won’t see their neighborhoods deteriorate, Project Manager Nathan Gaspard of Moore Planning Group said.

“The Renaissance development characterizes many such developments around the country that are conceptually more integrated with their surroundings,” he said. “As the project continues to develop, the proposed trail links to the community and with emphasis on walkability and high-quality grounds maintenance, we feel it will continue to add value to the area and make nearby residential developments more desirable.”
MOORE PLANNING GROUP drafted Ridgeland’s master plan that calls for redeveloping seven areas of the city, including the Northpark district, where aging subdivisions are deteriorating and retailers there are moving to Renaissance and to other retail hubs.

That scenario is common in similar areas around the United States, Graspard said.

“But a major difference between the mall development and Renaissance is that 70s-era malls were conceived as ‘islands of selfdom,’ with little or no connection to the context of the neighborhoods near them. Some reconfiguring of the mall will be required and will serve to add a new style of shopping venue to the mall and will thus increase its vitality. The same result will be achieved in the neighborhoods surrounding Northpark.”

In Ridgeland’s master plan, Moore Planning Group recommends connecting Northpark and those residences.

“The resulting interactions, we feel n and research confirms n will help lead a revitalization of those neighborhoods,” Graspard said.

The firm attributed the decline in the Northpark district to the age and character of the homes and few public amenities.

“As with similar neighborhoods … as families age and relocate to other areas, these older homes begin to enter the rental market because they can’t compete in a housing market stressing modern styling and amenities.”

Those are problems higher-end homes near the parkway don’t have, and thus owners won’t have to worry about their property values decreasing, realtor Karen Newsom said.

“I have seen an increase in home buyers looking to live in this area. They value proper planning, close proximity and convenience of retail and commercial services, which go hand in hand with a higher quality of life.”

“Properly planned and balanced retail and commercial growth plays an integral part in maintaining and increasing residential property values,” she said. “Most of the existing homeowners tell me how excited they are to be living in the area.”

And that’s to be expected, Frascogna said.

“So much of it has to do with scale and product type - the quality. I don’t think you can just generically say, ‘I don’t want to be next to shopping.’ With Renaissance, you’ve gone from shopping mall to Main Street. They have offices next to retailers, and there’s a great deal of new urbanism.”

Madison County District 3 Supervisor D.I. Smith, who is the on-site property manager at Dinsmor, said prospective residents prefer to live near the parkway.

“Commercial growth along Highland Colony Parkway seems to have created even more excitement, interest and demand for Dinsmor property,” he said. “There were 42 houses sold in Dinsmor in 2007, which is in line with the last several years, but about seven more than in 2006.. ”

“I strongly believe the residential values in the area near Highland Colony Parkway will increase because of the high quality of the commercial developments,” Ridgeland Mayor Gene McGee said. “The demand for housing will continue to grow because people want to be close to where they work and will be looking to move to homes near the parkway.”

As officials in Madison County prepare to build three interchanges on I-55 between Ridgeland and Gluckstadt over the next seven years, traffic congestion along and around the parkway is not expected to be a factor for residents in the area’s subdivisions.

The Mississippi Department of Transportation plans to build a $150 million split-diamond interchange to relieve traffic from Old Agency to Mississippi 463. Madison County is set to build interchanges at Reunion Parkway and at Gluckstadt, and construction is expected to be complete by 2013.

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