Board approves 179-acre, mixed-use project at Colonial Country Club

By Updated: October 11, 2018 8:12 PM CT | Published: October 11, 2018 2:51 PM CT

A $300 million development plan that includes one of the city’s largest residential projects in the last 40 years received approval from a planning board on Thursday.

The Land Use Control Board unanimously approved big changes to the 178-acre Colonial Country Club Planned Development.

The project will convert the golf club’s now-closed North Course into a mix of 541 homes, 250 apartments, 313 senior-living units, offices, stores and restaurants, and a hotel.

The Dallas-based developer, JAMP Enterprises, is eager to start work on the $75 million first phase, which encompasses the senior-living campus and about 150 of the houses, said Louis Ricci, a Memphis-based project consultant who represents JAMP.

The planning board’s approval is a recommendation to the City Council, which has final say.

“We will probably be waiting on the city of Memphis to approve our construction plans,” Ricci said. “We would like to start as soon as possible.’’

 The original plan proposed by Colonial Country Club’s ownership group was approved by the City Council in January 2016, but never carried out. Since then, the club ownership group managed by James Russell has partnered with JAMP Enterprises.

JAMP conducted a market study, made substantial changes to the plan and already has spent more than $2 million on soft, nonconstruction costs, Ricci said.

“This is more than just the revitalization of Colonial Country Club. This is about a long-time tradition in Memphis of St. Jude Children’s (Research) Hospital and all the money that was raised for it,’’ said Ricci, referring to when Colonial hosted the professional golf tournament that raised money for St. Jude.

The JAMP and Colonial partnership envisions the development serving as the “eastern door’’ of Memphis, he said. “It’s really more than just a developer trying to make money. We want to be in the city of Memphis.’’

JAMP determined the original plan was too densely developed with too much emphasis on residential to succeed, and added a broader assortment of uses. JAMP also determined that the original plan lacked enough access to the surrounding road network for sufficient visibility.

The changes from the first plan (in parentheses) to what was approved Thursday include:

  •   (163 acres) to 179 acres
  •   (408 single-family residences) to 540 single-family residences
  •   (500 apartments) to 250 apartments
  •   (440 senior-living units) to 310 senior-living units

The original plan included some acreage for hospitality lodging at the club, but the new plan approved Thursday includes 100,000 square feet of office space, 16 acres for stores and restaurants, and five acres for a full-service hotel. That commercial district will line Interstate 40.

However, Land Use Control Board chairman Jon McCreery expressed concern that one of the interior roads serving the commercial area would lead service trucks through the Countrywood neighborhood. In response, the board agreed to an amendment stating final plans for the commercial area will not be recorded until a direct road access to U.S. 64 is built as the plans show.

No opposition to the proposal surfaced. The surrounding Countrywood neighborhood association submitted a letter of support.

The new development partnership added 16 acres by obtaining the rights to buy the adjacent Fairway Gardens Planned Development on the north border and closer to U.S. 64, as well as the rights to buy Colonial Towers on the south side of the development.

Based on the traffic-impact study commissioned by the developers, the city engineer recommends modernizing the traffic signal at U.S. 64 and Rock Creek Parkway to handle increased traffic generated by the new development.


Land Use Control Board Colonial Country Club JAMP Enterprises
Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey

Tom Bailey covers business news for The Daily Memphian. A Tupelo, Mississippi, native, he graduated from Mississippi State University. He's worked in journalism for 40 years and has lived in Midtown for 36 years.

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