Recovery Management Corporation (RMC) has been operating its Cargo Largo store from its location on E. 35th Street, west of Noland Road, for about 35 years and is again pursuing the development of a new, consolidated operations facility and corporate headquarters on S. Noland Road. While similar to the plan approved in 2008, it has been revised to accommodate the explosive growth of e-commerce. Primary changes from the previous plan are the substantial increase of the building’s square footage, and the elimination of two retail/restaurant pad sites along E. 33rd Street, south of the proposed store. This revised plan encompasses Tract A for the new store/distribution center and the northern portion of Tract B on the west side of S. Weatherford Road, for a small parking lot. Tract C (existing store) and the remainder of Tract B are not part of this application but will see individual development/redevelopment plans in the future.
One of the issues discussed regarding this project a decade ago was the melding of the retail/office uses with the company’s warehousing/shipping/distribution needs into a single facility. When initially submitted, consideration was given to rezone a portion of the site C-2 for office/retail sales with the remainder being rezoned to I-1 for its warehouse/wholesale operations.
It was decided that the use of a single zoning classification over the entire site, in conjunction with the use of a Planned Unit Development designation, to allow certain additional land uses to accommodate the needs of the company, was the preferred solution. This PUD designation allowed the business to modify certain zoning regulations, including land use regulations, which would otherwise apply. C-2 was selected as the base zoning classification as it allows for the widest array of office/retail uses, is the predominant zoning classification along the Noland Road corridor, and already existed on part of the site. As noted in the Applicant's letter, ownership is in conversations with the State of Missouri and the City relative to economic incentives available for the project.
Cargo Largo intends to build a 463,449 +/-SF facility on 30 acres+/- north of the proposed E. 33rd Street. The proposed facility will house a new retail store (73,400 SF) as well as the corporate headquarters offices (14,200 SF) and warehousing/distribution center (471,000 SF).
As typical with many buildings of this type, it will be constructed of tilt-up concrete walls. Once a concrete panel is poured on the site in a horizontal position and cured, it is then ‘tilted up’ into a vertical position forming the walls of this roughly 40 foot tall building. The state-of-the-art facility has a 36 foot clearance for the warehouse and distribution area, with glass not only in the retail store but also around the perimeter to provide interior daylight.
Being visible from Noland Road and E. 33rd Street, the east and south elevations are the primary building facades and will feature light gray coloring with darker gray and blue accent panels. These two sides will also have wall section bump-outs adding a few feet to the wall height and project several feet from the structure to give these elevations more depth and height variation.
Customer access points on the south elevation are covered by metal canopies. The north elevation, which faces a mini-storage facility, will have only limited building features. Facing Weatherford Road, the west elevation is the back-of-house with multiple dock doors along its length covered by a canopy.
Parking – Three parking areas are planned for employee and customer parking: on the east and south of the building and on the adjacent Tract B shown on the west side of S. Weatherford. The amount of parking provided, 1,054 spaces, exceeds the City standard for the use/square footage configuration shown on this plan. Additional spaces may be required for any future building expansion. Semi-truck parking, in conjunction with the store’s loading docks, is on the west side of the building, but may be expanded to the east side of the building in the future.
Access and Street Design - Access to the site will be via either of two new streets constructed with the project. Cargo Largo will be extending S. Weatherford south through the western portion of the property at a slight angle before connecting to the existing cul-de-sac. At the previously constructed crossing, E. 33rd Street will extend west across the railroad tracks and ‘T’ into S. Weatherford. Cargo Largo’s engineering consultant completed an updated traffic study for the project, the summary and related pages are attached for review. The railroad crossing, installed about 10 years ago, is designated as E. 33rd Street and will serve as the primary access to the site. Three traffic–related improvements are recommended by the study to accommodate the project:
S. Noland Road and E. 33rd Street
o Install a fully actuated traffic signal that is coordinated with the other signals on the Noland Road corridor and provides railroad pre-emption control. Traffic signal infrastructure will include an east-bound pre-signal
o Provide a north-bound left turn lane with 200 feet of storage length
o Provide two outbound lanes in the eastern direction
E. 35th Street and S. Weatherford Road (formerly Lynn Court)
o Enlarge corner radius in the northeast corner to accommodate truck turning movements
o Construct a westbound right-turn to extend roughly 250 feet, to tie into the second westbound lane that currently terminates at an existing driveway.
The study states that a dedicated right-turn on south-bound Noland Road onto E. 33rd Street is not warranted. With these improvements made, the study states that all movements within the study intersections are projected to operate at an acceptable level of service (LOS) during the peak hours.
Stormwater Management - Plans call for the Cargo Largo building and site to be drained into two detention basins. Generally, the eastern 1/3 of the site, along with the eastern 1/3 of the building’s roof, will drain to the east into a linear detention basin under the parking lot on the east side of the building. The western portion of the building and site will drain into a polygon-shaped basin sited next to the Weatherford Road extension. Each of the future phases will require separate drainage and detention facilities.
Historic Buildings/Archaeological Sites - The project site is considered by local historians to be archaeologically significant due to its affiliation with the Santa Fe Trail. As the documentation presented has not yet been corroborated, the information should be taken under advisement. Signage on site may be requested by the property owner highlighting the area's historic significance.
Recommendations and decisions on a proposed Preliminary Development Plan must be based on consideration of the criteria listed in Section 14-703-05-H:
1. The consistency with the Comprehensive Plan. – When considering the assortment of activities to be conducted on the site, with an emphasis warehousing and distribution, the Comprehensive Plan’s ‘Business Park’ designation is appropriate here.
2. The consistency with the PUD standards of Section 14-902, including the statement of purpose. – This Cargo Largo project is consistent with the five criteria outlined in the ‘Purpose’ portion of Section 14-902.
3. The nature and extent of Common Open Space in the PUD – Not required for commercial projects.
4. The reliability of the proposals for maintenance and conservation of Common Open Space. – Not applicable.
5. The adequacy or inadequacy of the amount and function of Common Open Space in terms of the densities and dwelling types proposed in the plan. - Not applicable.
6. The extent to which the proposed use will adversely affect the capacity of safety portions of the street network or present parking problems in the vicinity of the property. Whether adequate provision for public services, provides adequate control over vehicular traffic, and furthers the amenities of light and air, recreation and visual enjoyment. – Cargo Largo will be making traffic related improvements to Noland Road and constructing E. 33rd Street and S. Weatherford. More than adequate parking is being provided for its customers and employees. Utility services in the area are adequate and will be extended to serve the project.
7. The extent to which the proposed use will have a substantially adverse effect on adjacent property and the development or conservation of the neighborhood area. – The project’s design, in conjunction with the constructed public improvements, should substantially alleviate adverse impacts on adjacent property.
8. Whether potential adverse impacts have been mitigated to the maximum practical extent. – With the number and type of improvements Cargo Largo is providing, potential negative impacts are being mitigated to the greatest extent practical.
9. Whether the Preliminary Development Plan represents such a unique development proposal that it could not have accomplished through use of (non-PUD) conventional zoning regulations. The use of the PUD designation here allows the property to be used for a combination of office, retail, warehousing, and distribution purposes under a C-2/PUD designation which is not possible under a non-PUD designation.
10. The sufficiency of the terms and conditions proposed to protect the interest of the public and the residents of the PUD in the case of a plan that proposes development over a period of years. – As this portion of the project will be constructed in a single phase, this is not an issue.
Planning Commission Action: At its December 11, 2018 Planning Commission meeting, the motion for approval passed 7-0 with the conditions listed above, after consideration of the following facts:
1. That, the Preliminary Development Plan is consistent with the review criteria listed in Section 14-703-05-H of the City Code.
2. That, a public hearing was held pursuant to a notice duly published according to law, at which time all interested parties were given the full opportunity to be heard.
3. That, at the Planning Commission hearing, no one spoke in opposition to the plan.
4. That Cargo Largo will consolidate its operations and corporate headquarters in this 463,000 square foot building.
5. That the proposed system improvements to be constructed by Cargo Largo will alleviate any traffic concerns associated with the store in this immediate area.
6. That, the final details concerning landscaping, screening and building aesthetics will be specifically dealt with in the Final Development Plan.
Draft Planning Commission minutes are attached to this Council agenda item.