A 175,000-square-foot Wal-Mart store with its adjacent 4,000-square-foot garden center would be the centerpiece of the most recently proposed Mission Gateway development at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue.
Developer Tom Valenti on Wednesday presented to the Mission City Council and Planning Commission a scaled-down plan for the long-vacant site. A 150-room hotel and a small retail strip also remain in the plan.
“This is what we could do now,” Valenti said in an interview Thursday. “It’s not what we originally intended, but I’m not giving up hope. I hope the city can favorably consider this.”
Valenti represents the Cameron Group, based in Syracuse, N.Y. The developers last year spent $5 million to grade the land and prepare it for development.
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The city took Valenti’s proposal under consideration but set no timetable to respond, said Mission public information officer Emily Randel.
Valenti discounted reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. would prefer to relocate to a former Kmart site on Shawnee Mission Parkway near the new Ikea store in Merriam. He said the retailer has signed an extension to participate in the Mission Gateway project that’s good through February 2016.
The long-delayed redevelopment of the former Mission Center property depends on public financing. The proposal includes $25 million in special obligation bonds that would be paid from tax increment financing and community improvement district proceeds.
Valenti said he understands that the approval process can take a long time — public hearings and a new development agreement are required — but he hopes to have a favorable resolution by February or March.
The original proposal was for a mixed-use development that included 300 apartments and multilevel parking with retail space atop the Wal-Mart store. Except for the hotel, the multilevel parts of the plan are gone.
The current plan is estimated to be a $100 million development instead of the original $170 million proposal. Earlier versions included a Sprouts Farmers Market, a Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill, a fitness center, more retail and the parking garage.
Valenti said the Wal-Mart store as now proposed would look similar to an existing Wal-Mart at 159th Street and Metcalf Avenue, a large one-story store with a surface parking lot.
He also has a letter of intent signed by a national hotel company to occupy a four-story “boutique” hotel on the southwest corner of the 26-acre site.
“I can’t say the name yet, but it’s a national brand that you’d recognize, a nice hotel,” Valenti said, noting that the hotelier has an existing property farther south in Johnson County.
The proposed one-story retail strip would occupy about 8,000 square feet on the northwest corner of the site. That’s a considerable downsize from the original Mission Gateway proposal that included 280,000 square feet of retail besides the Wal-Mart store.
The new proposal calls for a zoning change by the city to allow the large, one-story Wal-Mart to be built.