Major developments in store for Frontage Road

The Oxford Eagle By Lucy Schultze
April 09, 2004

A 2,000-foot-long strip of road between South Lamar Boulevard and Old Taylor Road could see more than 400 new apartments and condominiums in the near future.

Two major developments planned for Frontage Road will come before the Oxford Planning Commission Monday, and another smaller apartment project is slated to follow close behind.

Commissioners are scheduled to consider whether to allow Pontotoc County developer Jim Mogridge to build up to 239 units as condominiums.

His 45-acre site just west of Cambridge Station apartments is already zoned RB, so he could build as many as 261 units without special approval. The special exception he's requesting only relates to the ownership arrangement, and the planning commission will have a chance to review the site plan later.

The new development would go in across the street from Mogridge's 32-unit Oxford Station development currently under construction.

Bo McRee, broker with College Town Realty, said this morning the new development will mirror the first one, with prices starting around $200,000. Condos in the original Oxford Station have sold between $225,000 and $350,000, he said.

"So far, we've had mostly alumni — doctors, lawyers, cotton farmers," he said.

For many buyers the condos will be second homes, but some will make it their primary residence.

McRee said the development will save as many trees as possible on the wooded site, and will include a walking path and bike trail.

The developer hopes to begin work on the new project in early summer, pending city approval, McRee said.

Rezoning sought

At the opposite end of Frontage Road, Guy Turnbow Jr. is seeking to rezone a 4.6-acre parcel next to Days Inn from Highway Commercial (HC) to Multi-Family (RC).

The area is part of a 13.7-acre tract, the rest of which is already zoned for multi-family use.

No plans for a development have been filed with the city's Planning and Development Office, and Turnbow could not be reached for comment on the rezoning.

If the area is rezoned, a developer could put nearly 200 apartments on the property, City Planner Colbert Jones said.

In a written recommendation to planning commissioners, Jones said the rezoning was reasonable since city development policy is moving toward mixing compatible uses — like commercial and high-density residential.

In the coming months, Frontage Road will also be host to a new 13-unit rental development by Larry Butts on 2.4 acres beside the city's electric substation at the corner of Old Taylor Road.

Butts purchased the property from the Oxford Electric Department in March 2003, but at that time the city withheld about an acre next to the substation in case it wanted to extend Mimosa Drive.

Traffic issues

The need to create that new route between Old Taylor Road and South Lamar Boulevard may become more urgent when the new developments get underway.

In his recommendations for the proposed projects, Jones prescribed setting aside right-of-way space behind them for the Mimosa Drive extension.

Traffic was a key concern for neighbors who opposed the original Oxford Station development in early 2002, and fast drivers on Frontage Road warranted the construction of Oxford's only two speed bumps on a city street.

Traffic problems on Frontage are compounded by near-impossible left turns onto South Lamar towards the Square.

But a new project proposed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation could address the problem by replacing the stoplights and stopsigns at either end of the South Lamar bridge with two European-style roundabouts.

The north roundabout just south of the Shell and BP stations would include the ramps exiting and entering the westbound lane of Highway 6. The south roundabout would include the opposite ramps, as well as Access Road and Frontage Road, in a six-way circle.

The project could begin as early as the summer of 2005.

| Home | | News / Press Releasses |