Traverse City Record-Eagle


March 11, 2014

Hearing planned for Garfield theater complex

TRAVERSE CITY — The public will have a chance to comment on one of the area’s largest post-recession development projects.

Garfield Township planners will hold a public hearing Wednesday at 7 p.m. in the township hall on the proposed redevelopment of the Horizon Outlet Mall into a 14-screen movie complex named the Buffalo Ridge Center.

Developers propose to demolish the northern half of the strip mall-like buildings on Market Place Circle off U.S. 31 and replace it with the 59,000-square-foot theater space and a 10,000-square-foot, two-story retail building expected to house a restaurant.

“This is going to be one of the biggest developments that have taken place in the last seven years,” said project manager Doug Mansfield, president of Mansfield Land Use Consultants. “It seems to be a pretty good proposal for the site. We are maintaining all of the connectivity with the surrounding uses and so it seems like a pretty good marriage out there.”

Township officials received little public comment on the proposal, but planning commissioners raised concerns about pedestrian access and storm water treatment. Planners want to see more sidewalks to provide safe access to the cinemas from the planned Buffalo Ridge Trail and neighboring properties, said Brian VanDenBrand, Garfield’s deputy planner.

They also want developers to update the storm water treatment systems to better protect nearby wetlands and Kids Creek from run-off.

Mansfield said developers will tweak plans once they get reports back from the trail planners and the township storm water consultant.

“We’ll do whatever needs to be done,” Mansfield said.

Planners also will hold a public hearing on a bid from Culver Meadows to create a second, larger assisted living facility on nearby property. Planners objected to the size of a second development on six acres on N. West Silver Lake Road near Secor Road. The project would house 88 senior living units in two-story buildings that several members of the planning commission found inconsistent with the surrounding residential area.

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