Final site plan approved for Mission’s Gateway development; construction to start “as soon as possible”

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A rendering of how the Gateway development will look.
A rendering of how the Gateway development will look.

By Holly Cook

Final development plans for the Mission Gateway site passed through the city’s Planning Commission Monday with a vote of 8-1.
The $162 million project outlined during this week’s meeting was virtually the same as what was put before the Mission City Council in December 2016 by developer Tom Valenti of Cameron Group LLC.

Plans include construction of a hotel, apartment building, restaurant and retail space and potentially an office building. The site will also include a partially free-standing parking structure and courtyard with seating and a performance area.
Construction will roll out in three phases. The first phase will develop the apartment building with retail and restaurant space. The second phase will develop a 200-room Aloft and Element hotel and restaurant.

The final phase will develop three buildings in the area previously slated for the Walmart Superstore at the corner of Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue. Walmart backed out as a potential tenant in October 2016. According to Valenti these three buildings will serve as “placeholders” until tenants are secured.

Valenti said they would like to start the first phase of construction “as soon as possible” but did not provide details on a timeline. Previously Valenti had planned to initiate construction at the end of this month.
The commission did not delve into a construction start date or how tax-increment financing (TIF) or community improvement district (CID) funds may be leveraged to finance the plans.

Instead Monday’s discussion centered on a presentation of the modern-style design planned for the development.
Buildings will be wrapped in corrugated metal, stained cedar, aluminum composite panels and precast concrete. The proposed color scheme used mostly blues and greys with a pop of canary yellow.

City Planner Danielle Murray said the plans complied with Johnson Drive design guidelines.
Planning Commissioner Robin Dukelow said she liked the usage of yellow as an accent color.
“I think it’s kind of fun, but that’s just my opinion,” she said.

Planning Commissioner Jim Brown said he did not care for the heavy usage of metal and voted against approving the plans for that reason.
“It just seems like a lot of corrugated metal,” he said.

City staff determined the sign criteria outlined in the plan was not sufficient and recommended the commission revisit that piece at a later time.
Planning Commissioner Stuart Braden made the motion to accept the proposal, minus the sign component.

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