New Gateway plan, landscaping presented to Mission Sustainability Commission

The corner of Johnson and Roeland Drives.
The corner of Johnson and Roeland Drives in a rendering shown to the commission.

Architects for the Mission Gateway project shared new renderings Monday as they explained to the Mission Sustainability Commission how the project would meet the requirements for sustainable building.

Tom Valenti and Matt Valenti from the Cameron Group in New York were joined by architects Josh Shelton and Steve Salzer of el dorado architects, to present the group’s own self scoring assessment of the project. A greenspace courtyard that is positioned between the residential and retail sections along Roeland Drive and Johnson Drive and the parking structure was a prime component that the architects pitched as part of the sustainability of the development.

Shelton also said the group is in the early stages of exploring the possibility of adding another residential section along Shawnee Mission Parkway if a planned office space does not materialize. Tom Valenti has said the office building will not be built if a tenant is not secured in advance of construction.

Valenti said the current plan, which is still anchored by a 155,000 square foot Walmart, has “substantially more” landscaped areas than a 2012 plan. The courtyard could allow restaurants to have a dining area facing the greenspace as well as frontage on Roeland Drive or Johnson Drive. An overhang ledge will partially cover the areas and block direct line of sight from the residential windows above. The courtyard tapers down from 120 feet at its widest.

Valenti said the diners in the courtyard “are not going to be looking at a Walmart.” The parking garage behind the courtyard will be screened from the courtyard and the screen will extend up to block the view of the garage and Walmart roof from the residences.

The design also shows a plan to landscape and separate sidewalk areas from parking areas on the Roeland Drive side. The plan adds 2,700 feet of sidewalks with green zones between the streets and the sidewalk. The architects said the parking structure will serve as a buffer between the Walmart and the “boutique” retail below the apartments, allowing cafe dining to co-exist with a big box store.

Solar energy use, green roofs, drainage retention – or lack thereof – were a few areas that the commission discussed after the presentation. The commission can make recommendations to the council on sustainability issues.