MORNING, NOVEMBER 16, 2004
officials embrace 126-acre Belz development
plans for a mixed-use development at Interstate 40 and Canada Road received
a generally warm reception Monday night from Lakeland officials who must
approve the 126-acre project.
"I am very enthused
about the degree of sophistication you have spent on your initial
presentation," Lakeland Planning Commission chairman Don Bennett said.
"We have a really good idea of your concept. The comments you have
heard here are minor."
Enterprises proposes a "village" with homes, offices, business,
retail, civic, church and recreational use on land south and east of the
Factory Outlet Mall. Part of it would be at the site of a drag strip that
closed in the late 1970s.
Village would have about 375 homes, 35 acres of green space, 217,000 square
feet of retail, office and commercial space and 70,000 square feet of civic
space, said planner Chuck Downham of Looney Ricks Kiss.
the plan, with adjustments, is approved, the development likely would be
completed in five to seven years.
"concept" plan was presented to a joint session of Lakeland's
planning and economic development commissions, whose members asked questions
and offered suggestions on concerns ranging from traffic routes to lot
do endorse it," city engineer Karen Jarrett said. But she was concerned
whether roads as designed would be adequate.
60 Lakeland residents watched the almost two-hour presentation. One observer
was architect Rudolph Jones, who has proposed a 1,200-acre development on
his family's farm and neighboring land several miles to the north at Canada
Road and U.S. 70.
the presentation Jones said he applauds the Belz project because it offers
an alternative that could help Canada Road avoid becoming another Germantown