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It’s finally over for Skyland Town Center in Ward 7: The approvals part, at least. After a process lasting for the better part of a decade, involving an eminent domain fight and strong protests from the neighbors, on Monday the Zoning Commission waved off a last-minute appeal from the homeowners on Fort Baker Drive—who had objected to the potential effects from runoff and construction on their land—and okayed the planned unit development.
Now, the developers have three years to file building permits for the construction, during which time they’ll keep working to nail down an anchor tenant (mostly likely a grocery store) for the 315,000 square feet of retail. The complex will also include 468 residential units, composed of mixed-income condos and rentals.
The last bit that the Skyland team needed to work out was the community benefits package. The final deal amounts to $1.285 million over ten years, including $200,000 for local schools, $300,000 for a contractor loan fund, $500,000 to help local businesses with build-out expenses, $50,000 for a small park, $50,000 for two nearby libraries, $75,000 for homeownership classes, and $75,000 for job training.