In a narrow 7 to 6 vote on Tuesday, Hendersonville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to approve a revision to the Indian Lake Village Final Development Plan, paving the way for 247 luxury apartments to be built next to the Hobby Lobby shopping area off of Indian Lake Boulevard.

It was the first time in more than six years that city leaders have voted to approve plans that would allow for an apartment complex within the city.

Tenn Holdings, owner of several properties within Indian Lake Village, requested to amend the Final Development Plan for the more than 400-acre mixed use development by adding multi-family dwelling to the list of uses permitted on 8.74 acres behind the Aventura Apartments.

In the last seven years, the owners have had little success in marketing the property for its currently zoned use of commercial, planned development, Tenn Holdings partner Rob Horton told city leaders.

“We’ve had zero offers from any retail developers,” said Horton. Tucked off of Indian Lake Boulevard, the property lacks the visibility for other developments like a hotel, he added.

In addition, for-sale units in the Gatherings, a new age-restricted development in Indian Lake Village, aren’t selling as quickly as that development had hoped, according to Horton.

The estimated $50 million project will include 247 high-end, one-and two-bedroom units in two four-story buildings, and will generate $428,000 in property taxes to the city and Sumner County, according to Patrick Poole, who represents the project’s design-builder Al. Neyer. Neyer was the architect on the recent Vanderbilt Medical Center office building on Anderson Lane, according to Poole.

Poole said the project would be unique to Hendersonville and would target young professionals and empty-nesters in higher income brackets who would pay between $1,500 to $2,000 a month in rent.

Several aldermen, including Ward 4 Alderman Steve Brown, said the project was a good fit for the area, noting that the city won’t be responsible for roads within the development or trash collection.

“If we’re ever going to approve [apartments], you’ve found the spot to do it,” said Brown. “I just feel like you’ve got a pretty good product.”

As a condition of approval, the developers offered to make off-site improvements to the area that includes the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Saundersivlle Road and the commercial access road in front of Sam’s Club for an estimated cost of around $600,000. It will also install additional turn lanes at the intersection of Indian Lake Boulevard and Saundersville Road.

Developers will also construct a trailhead for the Indian Lake Village greenway that will include a pavilion, map kiosk, and a watering station with a dog water fountain.

Several aldermen took issue with several variances the developer requested, including a request to exceed the number of apartments allowed in Indian Lake Village by 247 units.

The overall Indian Lake Village development is currently restricted to a total of 1,200 residential units. Of those, up to 600 may be rental units. All of those rental units have been built while 176 single-family for-sale units remain to be built, according to the city’s planning department.

In addition, 446 parking spaces are required for the proposed development per the city’s zoning ordinance. The developer is proposing to provide 334 of those parking spots and share 112 spots with the adjacent shopping center.

The developer also asked for a waiver on building materials, asking to use substantially less brick than what the city allows.

Ward 6 Alderman Eddie Roberson said he feared granting the variances would open the door to more requests from developers.

Those who voted for the revised FDP on Tuesday included Brown, Arlene Cunningham of Ward 3, Jonathan Hayes and Rachel Collins of Ward 5, Pat Campbell of Ward 2 and Ward 1 representatives Peg Petrelli and Mark Skidmore.

Roberson, Mayor Jamie Clary, Ward 3 Alderman Russ Edwards, Karen Dixon of Ward 4, Ward 6 Alderman Jim Waters, and Ward 2 Alderman Lee Peterson voted against it.

The Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission recommended approval of the revised plan to BOMA 7 to 3 on Sept. 7. The project was recommended 2 to 1 by the General Committee on Sept. 14.

City leaders last approved apartments in 2014 when the 94-unit Luxe at Indian Lake Village was approved.