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O’Fallon rezones high tech corridor

What was once intended to be a bustling corporate sector is now on-track to become a high-end rental development.

At a meeting on March 26, the O’Fallon City Council approved two pieces of legislation pertaining to the property, located at the southeast corner of Technology Drive and Phoenix Parkway. The first bill rezoned the 24.45-acre tract of land from a High Tech Corridor District to a Mixed Use Traditional Development District. The second bill provided the area plan for the development.

The public comments portion of the March 26 meeting saw several Winghaven residents share concerns, as well as representatives from the nearby Enclave at Winghaven apartments opposing the development.

“By approving the rezoning, you’ve basically converted Winghaven to a rental community, with 30 percent rental units, and that’s not what the neighborhood bargained for,” said Carrie Hermeling, an attorney representing the Enclave.

Ultimately, the rezoning passed 6-3, and the legislation providing the area plan passed 7-2.

According to the Planning and Zoning Commission’s report, the plan is for Rowles Development, LLC to build 304 units throughout 11 buildings, spaced across the site, as well as to afford a 4-acre parcel for future commercial development.

Councilmember Rick Battelle (Ward 3) had voted against the rezoning ordinance, saying as a resident of Winghaven, he originally had concerns about the project, but many of those have been assuaged..

“After I really dug deep into what the project entails, I had a better understanding of what was going to be developed at that location, it relieved me of most of my concerns,” Battelle said.

He added that nearby businesses both large and small will benefit from the project. MasterCard and CitiGroup’s employees could use the housing options, and the smaller commercial businesses will benefit from the additional patronage, according to Battelle.

“I’ve spoken to many of the businesses themselves and they are in support of the project that’s being proposed because of that fact,” Battelle said. “They need the rooftops to support them.”

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