220-Acre Mixed-Use in Works Near University of Missouri

A 220-acre parcel near the University of Missouri’s Discovery Ridge research park in Columbia is on tap to sprout a gargantuan mixed-use project. Forum Development Group, the owner of the land, recently wrapped up a pre-application meeting with the city’s Planning and Development Department, where the Atlanta-based real estate company presented a proposal for a multi-phase project that would ultimately encompass approximately 1.5 to 2 million square feet of commercial and residential offerings. The project, called Discovery, will be directly accessible via the Discovery Parkway–previously known as the Gans Road Interchange–off Highway 63. “We had a concept meeting, which is required for planned business districts that will allow for everything from residential to light industrial,” Tim Teddy, Planning and Development director for the City of Columbia, told CPN today. “The planned business district allows uses to be customized to the site.” Forum has spent the last two years cooking up plans for Discovery, whose initial site plan calls for a retail component, lifestyle center, residential and office space. Additionally, with a newly amended zoning code, research and lab space can fall under the light industrial development umbrella.If all goes as planned, Discovery will be developed in segments over a long-term period, and with such a large swath of land and a location within a planned business district, Forum will have the flexibility to develop as the market demands. The company’s next step will be the submission of a formal application with a more in-depth view of the project to the Planning and Development Department. Other city organizations, as well as neighboring Boone County, will have the opportunity to review the proposal, and public hearings will likely begin in the fall. “You don’t see many high-quality developments of this scale in this area,” Teddy said. “We think the public is ready for it.” Forum, established a decade ago, focuses on the development of upscale, open-air specialty centers.