Fourth McDonalds coming to Coon Rapids

A fourth McDonalds restaurant will soon be built in the city of Coon Rapids.

The Coon Rapids Planning Commission Aug. 15 gave site plan approval for McDonalds to build a new restaurant on property at the southwest corner of Hanson Boulevard and Gateway Drive, north of Highway 10.

The commission also recommended approval of an amendment to the Gateway Commerce Center planned unit development to allow a restaurant with a drive-through instead of a drug store at that 1920 Gateway Dr. location.

Before the project can move forward, the Coon Rapids City Council has to approve the planned unit development change.

That will be on the council’s Sept. 3 agenda as well as a final plat for the project with a revised lot line.

The council approved the Gateway Commerce Center development back in 2007 and in 2011, the Holiday convenience store and gas station was the first project to be constructed in the commerce center.

A multi-tenant building is now under construction in the Gateway Commerce Center.

According to Planner Scott Harlicker, McDonalds is proposing to construct a 79-seat restaurant with a drive-through window and 51 parking spaces in addition to the drive-through lanes.

The proposed building fits with the architectural guidelines established when the council approved the Gateway Commerce Center planned unit development, complete with brick and stone exterior and walls that include windows and awnings to add visual interest, Harlicker wrote in his report to the commission.

“The color palette is earth tones and consistent with the other buildings in the development,” he wrote.

Some changes to the landscape plan were recommended by Harlicker and made a condition of site plan approval by the commission. These include additional tree plantings plus landscaping around the storm pond that must be similar to the pond on the west side of Gateway Drive.

The conditions of approval also include a requirement of mission-style lighting with pedestrian-scale lighting along the sidewalks.

According to Harlicker, the site plan shows two-way traffic flow between the building and Gateway Drive that will allow customers to drive directly to the parking spaces instead of having to drive around the building and also helps separate the drive-through traffic from those going into the restaurant.

In a letter to the city, Jonathan Adam of Silverstone Realty & Development, LLC, which is marketing the property for the developer, H&W Family Partnership, said efforts to attract a drug store/pharmacy use to the parcel have not been successful because Coon Rapids has several Walgreens and CVS locations “which serve the population well.”

To bring Coon Rapids “another high end use that serves the population well,” McDonalds was approached, Adam wrote.

“McDonalds dominates its market and produces a high end building and business that fits the Gateway Commerce Center’s development quality,” he wrote.

The three existing McDonalds restaurants in Coon Rapids are located at Coon Rapids and Mississippi boulevards, Foley and Northdale boulevards and on Northdale Boulevard north of Main Street next to Menards.

The final plat for the Gateway Commerce Center includes 12 commercial lots on 32 acres of land.

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.

• 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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