Eastchester housing plan advances

Apr. 29—HIGH POINT — Even with certain constraints, backers of a proposed mixed-use development in north High Point say the project will bring significant benefits, including much needed new housing.

Deep River Partners this week cleared the first stage in the city's review of their proposal to rezone 54.8 acres on the east side of N.C. 68 between Piedmont Parkway and Regency Drive.

The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the developer's request, which would allow up to 600 apartments on the site, along with commercial uses.

Judy Stalder, a development consultant assisting Deep River Partners with the zoning case, told the board that the concept is for the portion of the site along Eastchester Drive to include businesses such as restaurants, a microbrewery, an animal care facility and an internal self-storage facility.

"We've taken what's there and planned an exceptional mixed-use development in a prime location," Stalder said.

City planners recommended that no parking be allowed along Eastchester Drive in front of the development, but the commission sided with the applicant by not imposing this as a condition.

"I respect staff's recommendation, but in this case, it seems like the applicant has gone above and beyond, and since there are a large number of developments in that area with parking in the front, it seems like a minor issue," said Chairman Tom Kirkman.

Stalder said there are drainage pipes on part of the property along Eastchester Drive and environmental constraints elsewhere on the site that will limit the total buildable area.

The developer has agreed to several conditions, including extending Empire Street through the site.

The rezoning request is scheduled to be considered by the City Council on May 15.