Mission Gateway project comes to a halt

The long-delayed Mission Gateway Project at the corner of Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue has yet again hit another hurdle.
Published: Jul. 18, 2023 at 6:27 PM CDT
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MISSION, Kan. (KCTV) - The long-delayed Mission Gateway Project at the corner of Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue has yet again hit another hurdle. The Mission City Council voted to terminate their agreement with the developers.

After nearly 18 years, the site remains the same – slabs of concrete, stairs that lead nowhere and an unfinished parking garage. It will now stay that way for at least another year and a half until the city works out the foreclosure lawsuit.

The eyesore was supposed to be a mixed-used development centered around an entertainment complex and was going to be built in two phases.

The city said that the New-York based developers leading the project, Aryeh Realty, failed to pay the city nearly $450,000 dollars in taxes.

“Unfortunately, Mission’s herculean efforts has not been enough, the reality of the matter is even if you do all that you can to make something a success,” said Mayor Sollie Flora.

Just last week the developers sent word to Mission’s legal council that they did not intend on paying.

At Monday night’s special council meeting Mayor Flora noted that the developers have not kept up with their end of the deal and were left with no other choice but to terminate it, but that does not accelerate the timeline on a redevelopment.

Council members also noted that the city is not in a position to acquire and demolish the parking structure and will be working with local representatives to make sure the site is still maintained.

A couple of residents at the meeting say they are happy to get rid of the developers.

“If you don’t have your financing together to begin with, they shouldn’t have even jumped in bed,” said Kim Donaway, a concerned resident. “What we ended up with today with the last agreement that they did is this white albatross in Johnson county, the laughingstock of the county and the residents have been bearing the brunt of these costs, indirectly because we have an eyesore.”

Jennifer Pugh owns a boutique down the street from the unfinished site.

“It’s definitely an eyesore, all of us that’s been seeing it for now for almost 20 years, we’re definitely tired of it,” said Pugh.

Pugh said she’s also hopeful that one day it will be something that will bring more people to Johnson Drive.

“I would love it to be locally owned or small business theme, I think that’s what’s so wonderful about mission, this whole Johnson Drive we’re all small businesses.”

The city is encouraging another developer to come in build with the already approved project plan.

The city does not own the property and cannot act alone in deciding what happens next to the site or when it will be redeveloped.