Almost nine years ago, Mission city officials were beaming about the possibility of a $380 million mixed-use project opening in 2008 at the site of the old Mission Center.
Today, Mission residents and elected officials have no good idea when Mission Gateway — the taxpayer-supported and dramatically scaled down, $100 million project at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe Avenue — will be done.
This experience is yet another reminder that redevelopment in established areas of cities, urban and suburban, can be quite difficult.
Overland Park officials ought to be learning from the ups and mostly downs of Mission Gateway as they review the proposed reuse of the Brookridge Golf and Fitness site.
A developer is seeking more than $600 million of taxpayer incentives for a $2.4 billion project. The city needs to keep pressing for realistic economic projections before deciding whether to award public assistance and, if so, how much.
In Mission, many continue to hope that developer Tom Valenti eventually will carry through on his latest plan. The lead component is construction of a new Wal-Mart — precisely the kind of project that city officials more than a decade ago rejected for the area.
Unfortunately, the new plan does not include most of the features that made up the original proposal and a few later iterations: a residential tower, a big mix of retail and entertainment stores and an aquarium.
The steadily shrinking project still would be a great improvement over the currently empty acres at the busy intersection in Mission. But the city must not award more taxpayer funds for the redevelopment until they are certain it will be finished.