It is a project critics have been losing faith in, but finally workers are moving ground Monday on the Mission Gateway Project.
The area along Johnson Drive and Roe, which was site of the former Mission Center Mall, will be the location a development that has evolved considerably since it was first announced in 2005.
The preliminary timetable calls for about 300,000 square feet of retail buildings to begin construction in the winter, including a large Walmart, which has caused some concern among local businesses.
"I didn't really make a decision about Walmart moving in. It was a private decision, a private company dealing with a private developer," Mission Mayor Laura McConnell said. "Presently, Walmart is about a half-mile down the road, so I really don't anticipate any changes other than the fact that the present Walmart is about 90,000 square feet and this one will be about 150,000 square feet."
McConnell said the new Walmart is going to be a green model with energy efficiencies and will have groceries.
"It will probably have some organic produce, a number of things," she said.
The Mission Gateway will be a mixed use development with about 300 apartments along with a variety of retail, entertainment and office space.
The project was scaled back and postponed over the last eight years because of the recession. It was supposed to be home to a huge hotel and massive saltwater aquarium attraction.
The Mission Mall had been open since 1956, but in 2005 it was sold. The mall was demolished in 2006, but the land has sat vacant since.
The Mission Gateway project is expected to open in the summer of 2015.
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