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Gateway Developers Recruit Tenants

The $82 million residential and retail project is slated for approval in late spring.

The Laguna Niguel Planning Commission discussed details of the Gateway Specific Plan on Tuesday night’s meeting.

The estimated $82 million project, which is slated for approval by late spring, will feature 325 multi-family rental units, 5,300 square feet of retail space on the ground floor, as well as a six-level parking structure. The city has also used $2 million in grants to create a multipurpose trail at the north end of Forbes Road.

Talks included possible 50-foot freeway signs advertising the planned pedestrian retail and residential district, as well as similar signs at intersections to help people negotiate through the project.

Commissioners expressed mixed feelings about the signs' design and aesthetic. The City Council has not “completely approved” the signs.

Planning Manager Jeff Gibson said space was filling up in the new neighborhood.

“There’s a lot of synergy building in the Gateway area between the developers,” he said. “A developer just bought two properties, Clark Foam and Phillips, and will integrate the two into one project.”

The project also accommodates low-income housing elements, the Crown/Cabot portion of the project committed 5 percent total units to very-low-income housing and the Career Lofts project committed 10 percent to low-income housing, which was approved last June.

“We’ve always encouraged the commission to hear all sides: staff, applicants and the public,” said Community Development Director Dan Fox. “We want to make sure everyone is involved.”

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