Planning Commission approves plans for Eco Downtown apartment complex

A proposed 250-unit apartment complex would sit just off Lafayette Street where the University Baptist Church activity center is currently located.

Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

The Fayetteville Planning Commission this week unanimously approved plans for another large-scale downtown apartment project from Seth Mims and Jeremy Hudson, the developers behind Eco Modern Flats.

The complex – called Eco Downtown – will include 250 apartments set to be wrapped around a six-story parking deck on Lafayette Street between Campbell and West avenues where the University Baptist Church activity center is currently located.

Similar to their recently approved 555 Maple complex just around the corner, Mims and Hudson sought a height variance at Monday night’s commission meeting since their plans call for portions of the structure to be up to seven feet over the 56-foot limit set for the neighborhood.

“We’re not affecting anybody’s viewshed,” said Mims. “We’re between two buildings (Legacy Building to the south and University Baptist Church to the north) which already exceed the height limit in that area. I think we’ll be making a nice transition between those two very tall structures.”

Mims told the commission Eco Downtown will satisfy many of the goals and strategies outlined in the city’s downtown master plan including creating a walkable downtown environment, encouraging downtown living and building smart, sustainable and efficient parking.

“I am confident that we have achieved and embraced those initiative and incorporated them in every step of the design process,” said Mims.

As with 555 Maple, commission members praised the developers for the design of Eco Downtown.

“I think it’s a great project,” Commissioner William Chesser told Mims before the vote. “Once again, you put parking to the interior which is exactly what I would prescribe and am in favor of.”

Commissioner Porter Winston echoed Chesser’s comments.

“I feel like this type of project is really moving us closer to having a walkable city,” said Winston.

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