$268 million Mission Gateway plan approved

After more than 15 years of false starts, could real change be on the horizon?
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 8:54 AM CST
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MISSION, Ks. (KCTV) - The Mission Gateway development plans are officially moving forward following City Council vote Wednesday night.

Redevelopment construction is scheduled to begin sometime in 2023 for the $268 million plan. It’ll revitalize what once was the Mission Mall into a mixed-use center with new businesses, entertainment and living area.

Since the mall was demolished in 2006, there have been several attempts at redevelopment. For the most part, though, the area has remained a vacant lot at Johnson Drive/Roe Avenue/Shawnee Mission Parkway waiting for a developer to do something---anything.

Area residents we spoke with months ago make jokes about the area’s development plans. They have been cautious about any optimism about the plans and most likely will remain so until they see it come to fruition.

Wednesday night’s meeting went back and forth.

Councilmember Debbie Kring said the concept is there, and they need to just get this going. She’s been working on this redevelopment plan journey since 2005.

“It’s taken longer than any of us wish it would’ve, but there’s a commitment. The developer is committed, our team is committed, we have attorneys that are committed, and this governing body has been truly committed to making this happen on behalf of the community,” she said.

The 16-acre lot has gone through several redevelopment plans – most recently the last stalled due to the pandemic.

The developer, Aryea Realty LLC, presented Wednesday night that they have $60 million in capital investments currently, with 90,000 square feet of space committed along with 15,000 square feet of small shop leases committed. They have a franchise agreement to put up a hotel with 202 rooms available, but no commitments yet on office space at the moment.

In total, they propose a mixed-use center with about 139,000 square feet of small shops, 100,000 square feet of office or medical facility space, and 373 market-rate multi-family residential units.

A lot of excitement was had by council members – but not all.

Ward I Councilmember Hillary Thomas said, “I don’t believe this project is the right fit for the entrance to our city, and therefore, I do not find it incentive-worthy. Additionally, I am concerned about the lack of funding plans for Phase 2 and incomplete financing for Phase 1.”

Thomas did applaud Mayor Sollie Flora and her fellow council members for coming up with ideas to move forward with the area on this, but doesn’t approve of where it stands at the moment.

We will continue following this progression of development, as we do not know an official date for construction.