HARKER HEIGHTS — The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a new business development to be built on the southwest corner of Knight’s Way and Stillhouse Lake Road, diagonally across from Harker Heights High School.

Along with a concept plan for Hudson Heights — a planned 200,000-square-foot retail and office center — the council approved a preliminary plat for Stillhouse Lake Road Shopping Center, which will house a 40,000-square-foot Walmart grocery store, said Planning and Development Director Fred Morris.

Mayor Mike Aycock questioned if Hudson Heights might foreshadow the appearance of the discussed 2.39-mile Knight’s Way overlay district, in which businesses would follow one set of comprehensive standards for building aesthetics, buffering, landscapes, and streetscapes, among other guidelines.

The supermarket site’s raised medians and organized landscaping will reflect some of the overlay’s basic ideas, as will Hudson Heights’ sidewalks, Morris said.

Morris said the development signals a trend toward city-centric neighborhood commercial hubs, and away from strip malls geared to U.S. Highway 190 drivers.

The 46.85-acre Hudson Heights will feature low-profile, stylized signage to foster a unified building theme, according to city documents.

A buffer of open green space between Hudson Heights and the adjacent Skipcha Mountain Estates will allow mass tree planting and trailblazing.

“It gives us an opportunity to expand our trail networks and give people options to ride their bikes or walk to the stores,” Morris said.

Councilman Spencer Smith expressed concern the retail hub could congest traffic, causing safety hazards.

City Manager Steve Carpenter said project engineers graded the intersection’s traffic flow as a “D,” with “F” being the lowest score.

“There is an issue there, I think,” Carpenter said. “There might be some temporary things they can do in terms of traffic lights.”

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., will construct the 9.76-acre Stillhouse Lake Road Shopping Center, and Killeen Engineering and Surveying, Ltd., will construct Hudson Heights.

Contact Brian Bradley at bbradley@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7567

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