Gateway Overlook structures get OK

Panel approves plans for 3 restaurants, bank

July 23, 2006|BY A SUN REPORTER

Plans for four more structures, including three national restaurants, have been approved at Gateway Overlook, a large upscale residential and retail center under construction in Columbia.

It was the second time in a month that the county Planning Board approved elements for the sprawling development, and others will be considered soon.

Gateway Overlook is bounded by Route 175, Route 108, Lark Brown Road and Old Waterloo Road. It will be a mixed-use center, with a half-million square feet of residential and commercial space.

On Thursday night, the Planning Board approved site development plans for:

Houlihan's Restaurant, established in 1972 and based in Kansas City, Mo. It offers casual dining and has more than 100 locations coast to coast.

On the Border Mexican Grill and Cantina, founded in 1984 and operating in 31 states. It is a unit of Dallas-based Brinker International.

Mimi's Cafe, which has 104 restaurants in 17 states. Columbus, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms Inc. acquired the company two years ago.

The board also approved a site development plan for construction of a bank branch of Wachovia Corp.

The four structures will each be one story and constructed on roughly a combined 8.7 acres.

"This is the second ... in a series of plans that will be submitted for this center," said Albert Edwards, vice president and director of engineering for General Growth Properties Inc., the owner and developer.

Last month, the board approved plans to build a structure on 11.7 acres and with 133,600 square feet of retail space. The tenant was not identified.

The development conforms with what was originally promised when the project, then called Benson East, was proposed several years ago, Planning Board member Linda A. Dombrowski.

"It's coming along very nicely," she said.

Gateway Overlook will be constructed on 123 acres. Among the tenants announced for the development are Lowe's Cos. Inc., the giant home-improvement chain, and Costco Wholesale Corp., the world's largest membership retail company.

The development will include 66 attached houses, constructed by Ryland Group Inc.

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