H.G. Hill unveils Hill Center Brentwood details; announces architects


H.G. Hill unveils Hill Center Brentwood details; announces architects

By SUSAN LEATHERS and JONATHAN ROMEO

Updated 9 p.m. Thursday

Hill Center Brentwood will include more green space and direct access to adjacent Maryland Way Park; at least two signature restaurant sites, and a healthy mix of office and retail.

Hill Center Brentwood was introduced Thursday during a community meeting at the Tennessee Baptist Convention center auditorium. The development will include more green space and direct access to adjacent Maryland Way Park; at least two signature restaurant sites, and a healthy mix of office and retail.

What it won’t include are buildings bumping against adjoining Williamsburg Circle residences and any residential units, leased or otherwise.

Residential is not allowed in the City of Brentwood’s C-2 zoning developer H.G. Hill Realty is seeking for the 17-plus acres of C-1 property at the southwest corner of Franklin Road and Maryland Way. H.G. Hill CEO Jimmy Granbery told Brentwood Home Page Thursday that the company plans to submit its application and required documents to the city Friday morning.

H.G. Hill CEO Jimmy Granbery, second from left, talks with Dr. Jack Fletcher and Currie Andrews.

Following an unsuccessful bid to rezone the former Murray Ohio and TBCC sites into the expanded C-4 Town Center district, Granbery has said from the first conversations about Hill Center that this plan would not seek C-4 rezoning. C-4 Town Center allows a higher density than traditional commercial designations and allows residential development.

After vetting seven architectural firms, H.G. Hill selected Brentwood-based Thomas, Miller & Partners for the Hill Center Brentwood project. Cooper Carry Architects in Atlanta will also be a part of the design team.

Granbery likened the selection process as “a little bit of a design contest.” The selected firms were chosen, he said, for their experience with mixed-use developments and ideas that offered “a hint of what we were thinking.”

He said his team liked that the winning firms “didn’t get too carried away with surprises.”

“We just had a real good comfort level with those two firms,” he said.

The only change planned to the existing and adjacent Hill Center Brentwood will be an already approved entrance that lines up with Executive Center Drive which serves as the main entrance to the redeveloping City Park (former Synergy Center) business park across Franklin Road.

The hand-drawn site plan shared Thursday night is not the actual site plan that will be delivered to the city but was shared to give those attending a visual of what the engineered drawings will look like. A true rendering will be forthcoming.

“We just haven’t gotten to that level of design,” he explained prior to the community meeting.

Planned road improvements and traffic mitigation plans will closely mirror those brought forth in the previous C-4 Streets of Brentwood plan that was not brought to the Brentwood City Commission for a second and final reading.

Members of the H.G. Hill Realty team listen to thoughts on the plan from citizens attending Thursday night’s meeting.

Granbery said he has met one-on-one with all but two of the seven city commissioners. One meeting had been rescheduled to next week due to an unforeseen family commitment. Commissioner Mark Gorman declined to meet to hear early plans and offer feedback, citing a campaign promise not to meet with developers.

 “I feel great” about the new proposal, Granbery said. Through meetings with neighbors, city elected leaders and staff, studying the results of the recently released Brentwood 2020 citizen survey, and taking in all of the feedback pro and con during the previous rezoning process, he said he is confident this is the best plan for the corner.

“This is what you wanted. This is what we’re giving.”

By the end of Thursday night’s public hearing, Granberry and his staff earned a round of applause for the proposed site plan and the manner in which the firm went about the site’s new design.

“I feel better about this than the first project,” Janis Duks, a 46-year resident of Brentwood said while alluding to the original Streets of Brentwood plan .”He’s listened and come up with a nice development.”

H.G. Hill’s presentation focused on a creation of “place” within the mixed-use site, which offers connectivity between H.G. Hill’s Fresh Market/REI-anchored Brentwood Hill Center, Maryland Farms and CityPark.

“The more you can create in the center, the less you have to get in your car,” Granberry said.

Concerns mainly focused on the inevitable traffic that comes with a project of this size as well as the parking to accommodate it.

Granberry stated the “tried and tested,” formula of shared parking between office and retail will match the site’s demand.

Each parking garage will be able to hold between 600 and 700 cars, with some additional underground parking. Both H.G. Hill and residents would prefer the open air parking garage design, similar to that of H.G. Hill’s Green Hills Center.

As a part of the rezoning process, H.G. Hill is required to undergo and fund a traffic impact study, which will be filtered through the city to a third party engineer.

“We’re concerned with traffic just as much as anybody. We want people who come to visit our center to get in and out,” Granberry said.

“But I don’t think anyone in the Middle Tennessee is immune to traffic,” he added.

Granberry cited the progress between Brentwood and Metro Nashville for a joint traffic signal impact study as a positive step in alleviating traffic.

Longtime resident Betty O’Neil, who lives in the adjacent Meadowlake subdivision, agreed.

“I think the new signal [at the Hill Center] will work nicely if coordinated with Davidson County,” O’Neil said.

O’Neil also held concerns how the proposed site would handle the storm water run off, which Granberry responded to early in the meeting.

“We will adhere to state and federal laws, and I’m confident in our team of engineers. There’s nothing there now, so it will only be better,” Granberry said.

After the question and answer portion of the night, residents were invited to write in their suggestions on copies of the preliminary site plan. Red marks filled the pages with ideas for extra traffic lights, retention ponds and additional open space.

The firm will analyze resident input as a part of the final submittal process.

Brentwood City Commission is expected to hear the first reading on the plan at its 7 p.m. June 9 meeting in the Brentwood Municipal Building, 5211 Maryland Farm Way.

Brentwood Home Page invites your feedback on the new plan and rezoning request. Please comment through our new Facebook system.

Staff writer Jonathan Romeo covers the city of Brentwood. Contact him at jonathan@brentwoodhomepage.com. BHP Editor Susan Leathers contributed to this report 

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