PHOTO: Design documents show the design of the commercial portion of the proposed development. / Photo courtesy of city of Spring Hill
BY ALEXANDER WILLIS
After the Derryberry mixed-use development project was discovered to have had the site’s property listed for sale online, the developer has responded to accusations that the commercial portions were never intended to be developed, saying that they intend to follow through on the original proposal.
The Derryberry mixed-use development project is a proposal first brought to Spring Hill leaders in January that includes 280,000 square feet of retail, commercial, office and restaurant space, all proposed to be built off of Port Royal Road and Derryberry Lane.
During the Spring Hill Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s meeting Monday night, Alderman Matt Fitterer revealed he had discovered the site’s property listed online for approximately $6.3 million, and said it appeared as though the developer may have never intended to follow through with the commercial portion of the project.
After reaching out to the developer, Mid South Companies, a residential and commercial developer based out of Mississippi, Executive Officer Steve Bryan told the Home Page that the property was listed for sale only as a continued effort to look “for the right formula to develop that property.”
“I’m a multi-family and commercial developer, been doing it since 1976, and so I may end up developing the commercial portion and the multi-family portion, but we’re looking for the right mix on the commercial part to either joint venture or work with,” Bryan said. “We brought in one of the best commercial brokers in Tennessee to help us find that right mix, so when we say it’s for sale, we’re looking for the right formula to develop that property.”
When asked how Mid South Companies could ensure commercial would be built on the site at all after selling the property, Bryan said that it would have to be, as that’s what their submitted plans included.
“We went to the city with the total property and we’re just following their suggestions on what they had suggested, so that’s what we’ve been doing,” Bryan said. “If they wanted to change it, they would have to go before the city and get city approval to change it if they decided to do that.”
In an email response to the Home Page to Bryan’s comments, Fitterer said that while it’s possible commercial development could still be constructed on the site, “perhaps a new owner would have different ideas,” and that there would be no guarantee.
Despite the concerns, Bryan said he and his company are fully invested into the project, which he said could be a “tremendous asset for the city of Spring Hill,” and that it “will be a great increase in their tax base, [and] fulfill a need of commercial and multi-family housing.”
“We have developed for over 40 years, done a great deal of development in Tennessee over the years,” Bryan said. “We presently are under construction in Murfreesboro with a development, and we’re also working on a development in Lebanon, so we’re very active in the state. We’re looking forward to working with the city of Spring Hill to get this done. We like Spring Hill, we think it’s got a lot of potential.”