Coon Rapids approves second project for Gateway site

by Peter Bodley
Managing Editor

The second project in H&W Family Partnership’s (William Cooley) Gateway Commerce Center in Coon Rapids has received approval from the Coon Rapids Planning Commission.

MFRA Inc. has received site plan approval for a multi-tenant commercial building, which will be located at the northwest corner of Hanson Boulevard and Gateway Drive.

The first project in the Gateway Commerce Center, a Holiday Station store, recently opened for business. It’s located at the entrance to the Gateway Commerce Center at Hanson and Gateway Drive.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, MFRA Inc. is planning a 5,900 square-foot building, which would have space for three tenants, likely of the retail/coffee shop variety.

It would be located north of the Holiday convenience store.

In recommending approval of the site plan, Harlicker said it was compared for consistency with the overall plan and design guidelines that were part of the planned unit development for the Gateway Commerce Center development originally approved by the Coon Rapids City Council in 2007 and revised in 2009.

“The building is designed to fit in with the site and the proposed exterior is consistent with the design guidelines,” he said. “The exterior is a mix of materials and earth tone colors.”

Materials include brick, stone, rockface block and EIFS (exterior insulation and finishing system), while each wall includes windows and awnings to add visual interest, Harlicker said.

In approving the site plan, the commission added some conditions, including landscaping the area between the paving and Hanson Boulevard, adding a tree along Hanson, screening mechanical equipment, adding bike racks and parking lot lights must match the other lights used in the development.

Timing of construction of the project is unclear at this point because no tenants for the building are in place at this time, Harlicker said.

“They will want to get some tenants before starting on the building,” he said.

Back in early 2008, the Coon Rapids City Council approved a final plat for 12 commercial lots on 32 acres of land at the Gateway Commerce Center.

The Gateway Commerce Center project components include:

• Two retail stores, one 29,000 square feet and the other 50,000 square feet.

• Hotel comprising 200 units covering 78,000 square feet.

• Four restaurants, two of them 5,000 square feet, one 4,000 square feet and the other 6,000 square feet.

• Office/bank/parking deck totaling 100,000 square feet with a 450-space deck.

• Drug store of 14,000 square feet.

• Convenience store/car wash totaling 6,000 square feet.

• Retail/office of 22,400 square feet.

• Bank of 5,200 square feet.

The large scale commercial and destination uses, including the hotel, are planned along the Highway 10 access ramp and neighborhood oriented uses will be along Hanson Boulevard.

There is a central street through the development, extending from a signalized intersection at Hanson and Northdale boulevards, north of Highway 10, to the northwest boundary of the project site.

Conditions of the council’s planned unit development require site plan approvals for each of the 12 lots.

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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