July 5, 2022
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Planning board approves Union Depot master plan with conditions

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The Bartlett Planning Commission approved a master plan for the 74-acre Union Depot mixed-use development on Monday, June 6, with two conditions related to site access along Highway 70 that must still be resolved.

The Bartlett Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved in December 2021 a special use permit to allow the development of Union Depot, which will have 622 residential units, three commercial lots and will be constructed in six phases on the old Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home property.

It will have two entryways from Highway 70 north of Stage Road and one off Kirby Whitten Road at the northwest edge of the property. A traffic light will be added at the southernmost entrance into the development on Highway 70 along with a left turn lane.

Developer Keith Grant and his team asked the commission to remove two recommendations – one to create a dedicated right lane along Highway 70 from the southernmost entrance of Union Depot to Stage Road, and the other to allow just one right turn exit from that same entrance onto Highway 70 instead of the two right-turn exit lanes recommended by staff planners.

Those two issues will be further reviewed, along with a traffic study conducted for the project to determine if those conditions will stick or alternative solutions can be agreed upon.

Planners have been observing traffic for some time and are concerned that during some hours, southbound traffic on Highway 70 stopped at the light at Stage Road backs up far enough to block vehicles from getting over into the right turn lane to go west on Stage. They are concerned the additional traffic Union Depot will bring will only make the situation worse.

Grant and his team said the traffic study did not require a dedicated right lane and he asked for that condition to be removed.

“There was no recommendation in the traffic study to add a right turn lane and so we feel this is not necessary,” Grant said.

His team also asked for just one right-turn exit lane from the southernmost access road into Union Depot, because requiring two right-turn exit lanes would eliminate the right-turn-on-red option for vehicles leaving the property. A left turn-only lane will be part of the exit.

The developer will still have to return to the Planning Commission for site approvals and construction approvals for each phase of the development.

In other business, the Planning Commission approved a site plan for a proposed Phenix Salon Suites franchise at 6165 Stage Road.

The 9,360-square-foot building at the southwest corner of Stage and Elmore Park Road on just over 1 acre has been vacant for at least five years.

Franchisees Eric and Jacob Fountain opened their first Phenix location at 4699 Poplar Ave. in East Memphis between Colonial and South Perkins Road.

Phenix Salon Suites provides lifestyle professionals – from hair dressers and massage therapists to occupational therapists, yoga instructors and nail artists – an upscale facility where their suites can be individually designed.

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