The developer of the long-vacant Mission Gateway site has yet another idea for the project, one that will increase the budget by at least $44 million.
This time, Tom Valenti, principal with Syracuse, N.Y.-based Cameron Group, is said to be considering adding a 75,000-square-foot office building. A city memo indicates Valenti is negotiating with an unnamed potential tenant. Valenti could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Mission City Council held special meeting Wednesday and voted unanimously to hold a public hearing for the project on Aug. 16. That August hearing will evaluate a revised tax increment financing plan for what’s now a $214.5 million project at the intersection of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive.
Mission Gateway is a mixed-use development that currently contemplates retail, 168 apartment units and 200 hotel rooms at perhaps the most prime piece of undeveloped real estate in Mission. The Mission Mall once stood at the 16-acre site until it was purchased and demolished by Cameron Group in 2005.
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Since then, various ideas for the site — condos, a massive aquarium, a Walmart, among others — have come and gone without any visible construction taking place.
When Valenti last year moved on from plans for a Walmart Superstore, a proposed Mission Gateway anchor that had become a lightning rod in the Mission community, he had left open the possibility of building an office tower at the site if he could find a tenant. Typically, developers — and their lenders — won’t break ground on an office development unless they have a commitment from a tenant, or a group of tenants, to occupy at least half of the building.
Valenti is pursing tax increment financing, a development mechanism that allows a developer to capture future taxes generated by a project to pay for certain costs. The latest TIF plan seeks $79.2 million, or 37 percent of the overall costs.