Apartments, hotel proposed for Columbia's Crosscreek area

Monday, February 27, 2012 | 9:24 p.m. CST; updated 8:44 a.m. CST, Tuesday, February 28, 2012

COLUMBIA — Plans for an upscale student apartment complex in the Crosscreek Center area have been filed with the city. A hotel is also expected to be built near the property.

The apartment complex proposal was submitted by Crockett Engineering of Columbia on behalf of Houston-based Asset Plus Companies. Asset Plus has built student apartment complexes at 19 universities across the United States, though this will be its first in Missouri, according to the company's website. The planning request for the eight-building, 23-acre apartment complex includes 228 units.

News of the apartment complex comes several days after the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a request to allow hotel and motel developments on the Crosscreek property, which is in southeast Columbia near U.S. 63 and East Stadium Boulevard. The developer's previous statement of intent didn't allow such development. A Holiday Inn Express Suites is expected to be built on property near the apartment complex. 

Ray Puri of the Puri Group, which owns several hotels in the area, said the Holiday Inn Express Suites might be developed and constructed in as soon as one year to 14 months. Puri, who is also on the Planning and Zoning Commission, abstained from voting on the amendment.

Developers held a meeting with a few members of nearby neighborhood associations Thursday, said Jim Muench, a past chair of the Shepard Boulevard Neighborhood Association. 

"We're going to have to have a meeting of the whole association," Muench said. The Shepard Boulevard Neighborhood Association will discuss the development of the property at its annual meeting in March or possibly at a special meeting. Development will take place within the Shepard Boulevard neighborhood.

The proposal is tentatively scheduled to be discussed at the commission's April 15 meeting. A public information meeting will be held March 15, said Patrick Zenner, the city's development services manager.

The apartment complex and the Holiday Inn proposals are separate and on different lots, Zenner said. The apartment complex will need a planning change because the lot was intended for a car dealership but will now be presented as apartments, he said.

The two developments will follow different paths through city government.

The hotel required a change in the statement of intent for Crosscreek. A request was made by MDS Real Estate Associates LLC to amend the development plan for the area, which is zoned as planned commercial, to allow for the construction of hotels or motels on several lots at the commission's Feb. 9 meeting.

Previous proposals for the Crosscreek development site have included a gas station and a Taco Bell. In 2008, there was public opposition to a proposed car dealership at the site. After the rezoning request was rejected by the City Council, the developers of the site, Stadium 63 Properties, entered into a private mediation with the Timberhill Road and Shepard Boulevard neighborhood associations — after which the dealership was not built.

Now, four years later, there is hope for a positive development process in the area.

"I think that it's a very essential corridor to the entry of Columbia," Puri said of the hotel. "I think that the neighborhood has been supportive of (the hotel) because they see a first-class project that's going to be there."

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Kevin Gamble February 27, 2012 | 11:24 p.m.

Yet another vast, prime area of Columbia turned into a field of cookie-cutter student housing complexes, courtesy of yet another Texas company. Is no one else noticing this pattern?

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