Posted at: 04/09/2013 3:48 AM
The developers of Pinnacle Athletic Campus are one step closer to breaking ground for a new 94-acre sports complex in Fishers. Victor Town Board members voted unanimously in favor of rezoning the property at the corner of Phillips Road and Main Street Fishers to a “planned development district” (PDD).
The vote followed two intense public hearings on Feb. 25 and March 11, a site walk, and a public information meeting.
“We’re very pleased, obviously, with the vote,” said Jim Ludwig, president of North Coast Construction in Victor. “There was a great deal of due diligence on the part of the Planning Board and on the part of the Town Board and they did their homework, we did our homework and we’re ready to move forward.”
Just prior to the vote, Jennifer Michniewicz of Clark Patterson Lee gave an traffic study update, measuring the intersections on Wangum and Phillips roads, Route 96 and Main Street Fishers. Current traffic was compared with future traffic projections for phase one of the project, which includes a 90,000-square-foot indoor multi-sport athletic facility, and the balance of the project.
The property is owned by Mendon Ponds Development, LLC, DBA Genesee Sand and Gravel. The preliminary plan calls for two indoor multi-sport athletic facility buildings; up to five medical, commercial or retail flex space buildings; and up to two hotel buildings where the total rooms for rent of both hotels would not exceed 150 rooms.
According to John Caruso, senior vice president with engineering/architecture firm Passero Associates, the complex would also include six soccer fields, combined with four baseball fields located on 23.8 acres between the Auburn and Lehigh trails. It would also have an alternative outdoor action sports area on 15.4 acres.
“Overall I think the phase-one impact is minimal,” Michniewicz said, adding that before the entire project is completed, another traffic study would need to be done.
Recommendations she reported included adjusting signal timing and re-striping Phillips Road to add a turning lane. The study did not recommend the addition of traffic lights because, she said, “they are not warranted.”
“Let’s be honest, traffic in this town — it’s a good problem to have,” said Town Supervisor Jack Marren. “If we stopped building today, we’d still have a traffic issue.”
A second update was given by Wes Pettee of LaBella Associates regarding input on the project from the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
Pettee reported that ground water still needs to be tested near future athletic fields to eliminate the possibility of the presence of methane gas on the fields. If it’s determined that methane might be confined in a closed building, a gas mitigation system would need to be installed, Pettee said.
The next step for Ludwig will be gaining site plan approval from the Planning Board. He’s hoping to complete phase one by October.
“What helps the town,” said Marren, “is the individual developing and the land owner are Victor town residents. They have a passion for sports.”
Councilman Jeff Cody said the decision to approve rezoning, although not popular with all residents, was made in the best interests of the town.
“Here we’ve got a private entity putting up an indoor sports facility at no cost to the taxpayers,” said Cody. “If you live right next door, that may not make you feel better. But where you’re (serving on the board), you have to look at what’s good for the whole town, and the whole region.”
The total cost of the project has not been finalized.