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Tuesday, Sep 30, 2014
Pasco Tribune

Behnke Ranch project calls for homes, multifamily units

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ODESSA — With construction already underway at nearby Starkey Ranch and Long Lake Ranch, Houston-based developer Hines is eager to get things started on the former Behnke Ranch property on State Road 54.

“We’re moving very quickly with our submissions because we believe the market is there now,” Managing Director Lane Gardner said.

The company submitted site plans in late February for the 536-acre mixed use project. Hines paid $21 million last year for the property, which already had approved zoning and entitlements in place. The plans call for the construction of 550 single-family homes, 200 townhomes, 433 multifamily units, 200,000 square feet of commercial space, 180,000 square feet of office space and 350,000 square feet of office/light industrial space.

“It is a large project,” Gardner said. “We’ve developed a great working relationship with the county so far.

We worked really hard on the front end going through concepts and plans to be sure we’d submit something they like.”

More than a third of the single family homes and some of the townhomes will be built utilizing “traditional neighborhood design” concepts — an architecture movement that favors front porches, small lot sizes, transit-friendly streets and village-style commercial hubs.

“These communities we’re building and trends now are going to a healthier lifestyle and walkable community, where you don’t have to get in your car,” Gardner said. “We like the TND aspect of it.

We’ve done this before — it’s a concept we’re very familiar with. We like the blend of uses.”

Shopping centers, offices and apartments would be on S.R. 54. The traditional neighborhoods would serve as a buffer for the more conventional residential development on the northern end of the property. The project would feature more than 2 miles of trails and more than a dozen neighborhood parks scattered throughout the property, so each resident lives within a quarter-mile of a park.

“We have a mix of passive and active recreation areas,” Gardner said. “We like taking small areas and installing benches or playscapes, so kids have enough room to run around and throw a ball, and they don’t have to play in the street.”

Founded in 1957, Hines served as codeveloper of Legends Field, the New York Yankees’ spring training complex, in Tampa in 1993. The company is developing a 308-unit luxury apartment complex in St. Petersburg’s Carillon Park.

lkinsler@tampatrib.com

(813) 371-1852

Twitter @LKinslerTBO

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