An approximately 22-acre site near the far eastern end of East Riverside Drive could see a massive mixed-use redevelopment with more than 2 million square feet of residential, office, and retail space planned adjacent to the upcoming Metro Center rail station of Project Connect’s Blue Line, expected to be built near here at the intersection of East Riverside Drive and East Ben White Boulevard.
Described in current plans using the name East Riverside Gateway, the multi-building development would participate in the East Riverside Corridor Regulating Plan’s development bonus program to achieve additional building heights of up to 160 feet, in exchange for a currently unknown slate of public benefits that will likely include a mix of affordable housing, open space, and additional sustainability goals.
The project, which uses the address 7310 East Ben White Boulevard, is an effort of local development firm PlaceMKR, though the full design team is currently unknown. The plan appears to be in the early stages of development after the completion of a city design assessment process last year, and would contain four multifamily residential buildings of between five and six stories containing an estimated total of 1,234 units, alongside an anchor office and retail building rising an estimated 8 to 10 stories closer to the intersection.
The project’s 22.38-acre land assembly, located on the southwest side of the intersection where East Riverside Drive meets East Ben White Boulevard, is currently occupied by a storage facility and a now-vacant former mobile home park.
While details of the East Riverside Gateway project’s timeline are currently unavailable, the renderings and numbers seen here already begin to tell a pretty good story of how transit-oriented development should follow the path of Project Connect’s anticipated stations as the design process for this blockbuster mass transit investment draws to a close. Although this development’s proposed parking total of nearly 1,700 structured spaces doesn’t spark joy, this level of density planned miles out from the urban core points to the transformative possibilities of our city’s emerging rail system — when the city provides the framework for that density, of course.
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