By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Plans for apartments near SE 29th St. and Douglas Blvd. took one step forward recently as the Midwest City City Council approved a preliminary plat.
The residential development is located at 9309 SE 29th St. It is part of a larger T-shape property that includes frontage along SE 29th St. as well as access from Douglas Blvd. at SE 25th St.
The developer is seeking to build 296 apartment units in lot 1, which is located north of SE 29th St.
Plans for the property also include commercial development on Lot 2 which includes frontage along SE 29th St. Additional apartments are planned for Lot 3, located on the north end of the property, and connect to Douglas Blvd. by SE 25th St.
Mark Zitzow, JLou Properties and Johnson &Associates are the applicants on the project.
Crews have been clearing the site for a few weeks. The former Frog Pond bar and a house have been demolished.
The project will require additional drainage improvements. The area is located in a special flood hazard area impacted by the 100-year floodplain and floodway insurance rate map, according to city staff. Any new building permit must meet minimum design standards.
The developer has proposed to construct a common detention pond to collect most of the on-site runoff. The detention pond will discharge on site into Soldier Creek. The proposed pond discharge combined with the existing creek runoff creates a new decrease in flow rate of water leaving the site, according to a staff report.
Johnson & Associates is working with the developer and the city on drainage improvements for the project.
The property was rezoned as a Planned Unit Development in May. The zoning includes special conditions for exterior building finishes, landscaping, preservation of existing trees, screening for dumpsters, and vehicular access to the property.
The planning commission recommended approval of the preliminary plat at a January meeting. The project has not received any formal complaints, according to city staff. Councilman Pat Byrne said the developer met with neighboring residents to resolve any concerns.
“I went to one of the meetings and one positive for the city is having Johnson &Associates involved in this,” Byrne said. “They were involved in fixing some water issues at the Orchards neighborhood that backs up to this property.”
Billy Harless, community development director, agreed and said he always encourages developers to meet with property owners in advance.
Byrne said he believes the project will spur future development in the area. The development is located across the street from Midwest City’s new sports complex.
“When this is built, it’s going to spur development there,” Byrne said.
Harless said the city is already getting inquiries about property in the area.
The council unanimously approved the preliminary plat. The preliminary plat will expire after two years.