Neighbors express concerns about plans for Western Plaza

Local News

Some neighbors in the Bearden and Sequoyah Hills area are concerned about plans to redevelop the Western Plaza Shopping Center. Sandy Gillespie, president of the Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Neighborhood Association, said several community members met with Rep. Eddie Smith and the developers Sunday to discuss their concerns and plans moving forward.

“The concerns were basically just kind of the unknown. Where it might be on the Western side of Western Plaza, how tall it might be and perhaps what it might look like,” said Gillespie.

Gillespie said the goal is to preserve the neighborhood and protect the scenic views leading into the western side of Sequoyah Hills. He said neighbors want to have more of a voice moving forward. 

“Western Plaza is a landmark in this area. It’s a valuable asset. It’s the premiere shopping center of this neighborhood,” said Dennis Owen with the Kingston Pike Sequoyah Hills Association. 

Gillespie and Owen said they do support the possibility of residential property in the center but want to see the plans before the project moves forward.

“We look forward to having some type of input, a successful development that’s best for everyone,” said Owen. “Anything that benefits Western Plaza will hopefully benefit the neighborhood.”

Biltmore Property Group, the company overseeing the project sent WATE 6 On Your Side the following statement. 

“On the west side of the property, we are weighing many options for redevelopment. One idea is for a mixed use building of retail and residential. However, due to its proximity to Lyons View Pike, which is designated as a scenic highway, Western Plaza is one of the few properties on Kingston Pike not able to take advantage of the new height restriction under the Bearden Plan. Buildings within 1,000 feet of a scenic highway are restricted to a height of no more than 35 feet, which currently prevents efficient residential development at Western Plaza. It is apparent that some local residents are not in favor of amending this restriction without knowing more about the proposed building. We will therefore forego further plans for residential development at Western Plaza unless and until a consensus can be reached with the community,” said Morgan D. Bromley, Biltmore Property Group, LLC.

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