Council OKs SouthPark “ski slope” church plan


Sharon United Methodist Church’s “ski slope” design is getting a makeover!

Plans to demolish and rebuild SouthParks “ski slope” church met City Council approval Monday night.

Childress Klein will develop a mixed-use community of apartments, hotel space, offices and restaurants on about 9 acres of property, including land currently occupied by Sharon United Methodist Church.

In addition to the mixed-use development, Childress Klein plans to rebuild a 750-seat Sharon United Methodist Church.

Last week, the Urban Land Insitute (ULI), the planning group hired by the county to assess the sub-market’s livability and economic development potential, released preliminary findings regarding how best to ensure SouthPark’s continued growth.

The ULI concluded the area, although a vital part of the city’s economy and personality, long has been neglected in terms of planning.

According to ULI, the SouthPark area needs more green space and to be more walkable in order to thrive. Childress Klein’s planned development would provide both those things as well as internal streets throughout the development at Morrison Boulevard and Sharon Road to disseminate traffic in the already traffic-choked area.

Regarding the future of SouthPark in its entirety:

Last week, a ULI-assembled panel of experts began its 5-day exploration of SouthPark touring the area, and gathering information from members of the local community in order to draft a report on how best to transform SouthPark into a less automobile-dependent hub.

Preliminary recommendations include giving SouthPark a unified “voice” by implementing a partnership between area businesses, residents and property owners; building a promenade of parks and green space around SouthPark Mall making it easier and safer for people to walk about the area; make the area more bike friendly; and lastly create a mall-area transit service that could move people around the area to reduce individual automobiles.

The ULI will file its final report within 4 months.