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Developer: Holidays, weather slow plans for Longview's Hinsley Park

By Matthew Prosser
Jan. 17, 2016 at 10:49 p.m.

The New Kicks On The Block take on the Mean Machine in a game of kickball at Hinsley Park on Tuesday November 3, 2015. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

Plans for a retail project to replace a city park in Northeast Longview are in the works, developers said Friday, "but moving forward."

"We've been predictably slowed by the holidays," said Craig Carney of Carney Engineers. "The rain delayed some of our field efforts related to surveying and geotechnical investigation."

The development team has just received a traffic impact report as well as a tree survey and topographic study for the current park at the corner of Hawkins Parkway and U.S. 259 and proposed park off Judson Road, Carney said.

Carney said he and his team have been spending time planning exactly how the new park is going to take shape and are looking at some "exciting possibilities" for the new facility.

"(On Wednesday) we met with the engineer and contractor we anticipate hiring for the new park," he said. "Once they are hired, we anticipate beginning the design work within the next three weeks."

Using the topographic information, the engineers will be able to determine the amount of dirt work required to start laying the groundwork for the new development, Carney said. He said the results of the traffic study will be used to determine how many lanes and driveways will be needed at that location "to maintain an acceptable level of service."

The group also has been in touch with city officials as they continue to build a more detailed plan for the new Hinsley Park, while also working on the Hinsley Crossing development, Carney said.

"We are targeting having building permits for both the new park and Hinsley Crossing by sometime this summer," he said.

In November, 64 percent of Longview voters approved authorizing the City Council to consider removing Hinsley Park's park designation, a move that allows the land to be sold to developers in exchange for a new city park at another location.

So far, only Kroger Marketplace has been announced for the Hinsley Crossing project, but the proposal presented during the election included a sporting goods store, restaurants and other retailers.

"(Our anchor tenants) are eager to move forward, just as much as we are," Carney said. "There's no hurry because we want to do it right, but we aren't wanting to waste any time either."

Carney said developers will continue to meet with a citizens' advisory committee as the project takes shape.

The advisory committee consists of Longview residents who have an interest in the future of Hinsley Park, including some who were against the proposal during the election.

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