Developers for Gateway Village in Denison recently gave a visualization to plans for retail and commercial portions of the development. What once were broad talks about future restaurants and shops have been refined into images of small retail, offices, dining and entertainment all surrounding two lakes across 75 acres.


During a discussion at the Denison Development Alliance’s annual economic development summit, Covenant Development President Ryan Johnson presented new concept art for what is now being called The Shops at Gateway Village.


“As you heard this morning, to me the reoccurring theme in these presentations is growth — growth in Denison, growth in our community and growth in our region,” Johnson said Friday. “That holds true for Gateway Village.”


During the summit, Johnson revealed images that showed proposed concepts for the development, located near the intersection of FM 691 and U.S. Highway 75, that included a mix of restaurants smaller retailers, offices and two major entertainment anchors surrounding two lakes. The first of those two major anchors will be Norman, Oklahoma-based HeyDay Entertainment.


The chain of entertainment complexes announced plans in September to open a Denison location — complete with laser tag, bowling, mini-golf and other family-oriented activities — by late 2018. The local development will be the company’s third location.


“We are very excited they’ve chosen Gateway Village for their first location in Texas,” Johnson said. “Having a quality family event venue like this will finally add tax dollars to our local economy.”


Johnson said the 75-acre retail space would likely be broken up into at least three phases, with the development of HeyDay serving as the first phase and starting point for future growth. Following HeyDay’s development, Johnson said current plans call for the second phase to serve as a central area with small retailers, dining and the second major entertainment anchor. The proposed third phase, at the north side of the development, would feature office space and big-box retail space, Johnson said.


Johnson said developers chose to focus on an entertainment-based anchor due to a shift away from traditional anchors because to the growth of online shopping and retail.


“Retail in the past has been anchored by big boxes (big box stores),” Johnson said. “Nowadays, you are seeing more entertainment and grocery-anchored developments.”


With the retail portion of Gateway Village, Johnson said he expects there to be about 250,000 square feet of retail space available for development. That would put the development on par with the Sherman Town Center in regards to space, he said.


For its tenant-base, Johnson said developers were taking a quantity over size approach with many retail developments expected to be 10,000 square feet or less. By comparison, he said the larger big box retailers in the development would likely be 15,000 square feet or more.


Johnson said developers do not have any specific tenants in mind for the development, but noted he would like to see uses that play into the development’s overarching theme of active and healthy living.


“When we are looking at tenants, we definitely have a goal to attract tenants with the same mindset as the Gateway community,” Johnson said.


In addition to the news about the retail component of Gateway Village, Johnson gave a brief update on the residential development that is also taking place. Within the past year, 40 new homes have been built in the development’s three new subdivisions, with all three now entering their second phase of growth.


Last year also saw the completion of the first new multi-family development in Denison in decades as The Residence at Gateway Village opened its doors. The high-end apartment complex, located just past the Hilton Garden Inn and Texoma Event Center on FM 691, completed its first phase of growth in early 2017, following nearly a year of development and construction.