Antioch residents say development not what was promised - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Antioch residents say development not what was promised

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

People in one Antioch neighborhood say a developer promised them new homes, a park and even a pond, but they say what they got instead is nothing but a dump.

The developer says condos and other homes were never part of the plan, so neighbors now want to know what will go on the property and when.

"Wouldn't that be a personal affront to you if you thought it was going to be something else - thought it would be something else?" said neighbor Richard Curran. "This is a dump. It's trashy looking."

At a community meeting two years ago, Curran says, developers promised condos, green space and just a small mulching operation on the 40-plus acres off Smith Springs Road.

"What was presented in 2011 was a development, which would face Smith Springs Road. And what you see at Smith Springs Road right now is a huge industrial operation," said Metro Councilwoman Karen Johnson.

John Stevenson is the developer and says there will be green space and commercial use, but it won't happen right away.

"It's going to take many years to get this completed, and we've actually picked up the pace the last year and a half," Stevenson said. "I have no plans for residential. I don't know where that ever came from."

He said the hold up is a huge hole that has to be filled with a million cubic yards of dirt, concrete and rock. So, he said, to be clear: this isn't a dump.

When the hole is filled, Stevenson said there will be a base to build and the next big step will be a sewer system.

"But I have to put a mile of sewer in before we can build the buildings on the front of the street here," Stevenson said.

However, neighbors say that hole was brought up when the plan was presented and they didn't expect it would take years to see a building go up.

Both sides plan to talk it out at a community meeting next month.

"It could be a matter of misunderstanding, misinterpretation, that's why I think it's best to have a meeting. Lay the plan out that was approved, nothing's changed," said project engineer Roy Dale.

That meeting is scheduled for April 9.

The Metro Planning Department said the property is zoned mostly for industrial and commercial use with a small portion for residential, but the city points out there is not guideline as to when construction has to start.

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