The developer of the long-stalled Mission Gateway project said Monday the start of construction on the first phase of the development won’t happen in March like he once expected.
Tom Valenti, a principal with Syracuse, N.Y.-based Cameron Group, told The Star on Monday that the delay was “nobody’s fault, other than things take a bit longer than I thought.”
Mission Gateway, a 16-acre development site at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive where Mission Mall once stood, has been the subject of numerous proposals on paper. But there’s little in the way of actual construction to show for it.
Valenti is scheduled for a hearing before the Mission Planning Commission on March 27 to approve his plans for Mission Gateway, which is substantially similar to one the commission approved last year, except now a proposed Wal-Mart Superstore is off the drawing board.
The latest plan is a $162 million project that would include 168 market-rate apartments, about 160,000 square feet in retail development and two hotel concepts; one is a 150-room Aloft hotel, the other a 50-room Element extended-stay hotel.
Valenti said in December that he wanted to push forward on the first phase of Mission Gateway, one that would include the apartments and about 50,000 square feet of small-shop retail, in March.
He said the early jump on Mission Gateway could be built without tax incentives, and it would show the city he could get started on the development. He plans to ask Mission later for tax increment financing and a community improvement district to assist with financing the rest of the project.
Valenti said several things needed to happen after receiving a green light from the Planning Commission — obtaining construction drawings, contractors reviewing bids and so on — before closing on his financing.
He didn’t offer a firm estimate on when groundbreaking would occur.
“Just to be on the safe side, I would say I hope to start construction this year,” Valenti said.