The Mission Trails project in downtown Mission is a step closer to reality.
On Wednesday, the Mission city council approved EPC Real Estate developer Steve Coon’s preliminary site plan for the project, giving him the green light to pursue construction of a five-story, mixed-use facility with approximately 200 apartment units and 7,500 square feet of restaurant and retail space.
The plan, which required the planning commission and city council to approve a deviation from city code to allow the building to be as high as 65 feet, drew pushback from a handful of residents of Mission Square, a nearby retirement community. Located at Lamar and Martway, Mission Square will abut the Mission Trails building on its back side. Residents voiced concerns about increased traffic that the project might bring to the area, as well as its size.
“There’s nothing along Johnson Drive at that height,” said Mission Square resident Virginia Cuppage.
But the project drew the support of prominent Johnson Drive business owners, who said it would add energy to already growing momentum in the area. Mary Horvatin, who runs Yoga Fix studio at Johnson Drive and Horton, said Mission Trails represented the type of development she hoped she would see when she bought her property a few years ago.
“I feel that it will bring an energy into Mission that it has been lacking. I welcome the project,” Horvatin said.
Kevin Fullerton, who runs Springboard Creative on Johnson Drive, said having 200 housing units in the heart of the downtown district would be a boon to small business owners.
“One of the things we started several years ago when we redeveloped Johnson Drive was ‘How do we bring more people to our city? How do we bring more activity to our city?'” he said. “It’s going to help our businesses up and down the street, to have that regular traffic.”
Councilwoman Arcie Rothrock voted against the measure. All other members of the council voted in favor of it.
Coon has indicated that he hopes to begin construction on the project in early 2018 and open in the first quarter of 2020. EPC plans to seek tax increment financing for part of the project.