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New Red Oak apartment complex gets go-ahead

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JOEY DAUBEN
The Ellis County Press

RED OAK - A 288-unit apartment complex behind Brookshire's grocery store got the go-ahead from city officials Monday, April 14.

The units would consist of three-story brick and stucco-mixed features, and would be hidden by trees, green space and retail development along the Ovilla Road corridor.

'There wouldn't be a line of apartments as far as the eye can see,' said Mayor Todd Little. 'There's a lot of green space, and it looks like the [units] are separated.'

Security gates would be located at the side and front of the complex, meaning visitors would have to activate a voice box to receive entrance, according to prominent local business owner Ali Sharaf and his architect Mike Hampton.

Councilman Rick Ausmus said the city

worked on a future land use plan capable of sustaining apartments, and likes what he sees with Sharaf's development.

'This is what I envisioned for multi-family development two years ago,' he said.

Parks, sidewalks, a swimming pool and play areas would highlight the community's centerpiece; plans also call for the southern and eastern sides of the community to house additional residential developments, according to Hampton.

Retail and commercial use property would dot the areas fronting Ovilla Road.

Concerns with traffic around the Ovilla Road area were also addressed, and the Texas Department of Transportation has already been contacted, according to City Manager Ken Pfeifer, to study a potential spot for a traffic light.

Citizens recently voiced opposition to a three-story apartment community where the new municipal buildings are being constructed, along Interstate Highway 35.

The developers pulled the plan after many complained of the potential noise and traffic situations the new community would bring.

With the new community, however, city leaders said the complex would be less visible from the roadway as possible.

'A project this size will greatly impact the school district and the city,' said Eugene Gaither, who is opposed to the new complex.

The Sharaf development was one of two new apartment plans approved by the city council Monday night.

Plans for two-story loft apartments above stores and shops behind the Sonic at Ovilla Road and Methodist Street also received the green light.

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