Collierville HDC approves duplex demolition, sketch plat for new subdivision

The duplex at 199 S. Rowlett. Even though it is being demolished, two other homes on S. Rowlett will stay as examples for the front setbacks of the new subdivision.

By Aarron Fleming

Two duplexes on South Rowlett St. are now set to be demolished after Collierville’s Historic District Commission approved a certificate of appropriateness to tear down the residences at its meeting last Thursday.

The duplexes are set to be replaced by an 18-lot subdivision which the board also approved a sketch plat for during the meeting.  

The board approved the demolition, and the subdivision plans unanimously, with the exception of one member, Bill Cox, who was absent.

Despite being over 50 years old, all the members present agreed that they voted to demolish and replace the duplexes because they no longer hold any historic significance.

Green Family Holdings, a family-owned holding company based in Collierville, has owned the duplexes since 1999.

According to the staff report by the HDC, while the exterior of the duplexes has been fairly preserved, both contain old kitchens, low ceilings, and “functionally obsolete” electrical service.

Ultimately, the company believes that the houses are not financially worth saving, which is why they are opting to replace them instead.

Efforts to reach the company for comment were unsuccessful.

Collierville established its historic district and historic design guidelines for the district in 1989.

The two duplexes won’t be the first to be ones to be demolished nor the first structures in general to be torn down in the district.

According to the staff report by the HDC, since 1991, a total of 28 buildings within the district have been removed.

Of those 28, two of them were also duplexes.

In 2001, a duplex at 187 S. Rowlett was demolished.

Another at 197 S. Rowlett was demolished in 2011, following a fire.

Thursday’s vote also comes alongside other changes that are in the works for other historic parts of Collierville.

At its meeting on July 12, the town’s board of mayor and alderman voted to approve a study for piece of land near its town square that has been proposed for the sight of a new parking garage.

Next to the parking garage, a three-story, 52-room hotel has also been proposed to be built.

The hotel, however, can’t be complete until the garage is done because of the need for a clear, defined space for the garage to be built on, the purchase agreement that included the land study stated.  

The study, which will be done over the next four months, will include assessing cost estimates, developing construction plans and determining whether the town can establish a tax increment financing plan (TIF) to pay for the garage.

If the town decides to go through with the garage, it will issue bonds to fund the project.

The study will determine if the TIF plan will generate enough revenue to repay the bonds that the city plans to take out.

The town put down $25,000 in earnest money as a part of approving the agreement but can get it back if they decide to back out of the deal before the study is over.

The total cost of the land is $1,185,000.

Now that the demolition and the sketch plat have been approved by the HDC, the plans will go before the planning commission where they will vote on a request to rezone the property from the historic district to a traditional neighborhood.

The planning commission is set to vote on the request at its meeting on Aug. 5.