Entire Gateway Project is starting over

 

People in Mission are going to have to keep waiting to see something built at the site of the old Mission Mall.

For almost a decade, they've been told developments are in the works, but this week they found out the whole project is starting over.

It's no secret that the Gateway Project has had many starts, but nothing has been finished.

Now, Mission, KS, city officials say the developer of the Gateway Project has requested additional space, from 150,000 to 175,000-square-feet, which includes plans for a possible hotel.

"Walmart remains committed to the project and the developer wants to increase square footage. Sprouts, also another grocery, remains committed," said Gerry Vernon, the city administrator of Mission.

Because of the new request, the city will have to go back to the drawing board to approve a new financial package as well.

"Everybody's wearing a little thin. This project is taking an extraordinary amount of time," Vernon said.

Residents and business owners say the space has sat empty since 2007 and they are anxiously awaiting new businesses.

"I'm really hoping he will come through. We've had many false starts we really need to get that property developed. It's just, it's an eyesore," said Sandi Russell of Mission.

In January 2013 the city approved the development plan and there was a groundbreaking that same year, but no progress has been made since then.

The Mission Mall was at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive from the late 1980s to 2006. It came down after the Gateway Project first announced in 2005. At that time the developer hoped to have the new development up by 2008.

The plans for the land varied over time. In 2011 it was announced that a Walmart would go there, along with an aquarium, hotel, apartments, offices and retail space.

Those plans continued to evolve. A year later it was announced that there would be no hotel or aquarium.

Currently the only store named for the site is Walmart, but more stores and residential units are still promised for the Gateway Project.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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