Northeast Joco

Commerce Bank building branch going in near Mission Gateway project

Commerce Bank is developing a new branch and separate space for another retail business on a high-profile corner across from the new Mission Gateway project.

The 3,500-square-foot branch bank is planned for a three-acre vacant site the bank bought six months ago at the northwest corner of Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue in Roeland Park. The project will include additional space for a retail or service business, but no tenant has been announced yet.

Kevin Barth, president of Commerce, said the new full-service branch will supplement a smaller operation the bank operates in the Hy-Vee at 6655 Martway St. in Mission.

Commerce Bank originally had acquired the site of a vacant Pizza Hut on Johnson Drive near Metcalf Avenue for its branch, but decided to shift the project to the corner of Johnson and Roe. Barth said that property is for sale.

“We decided it was a better corner for what we wanted to do,” he said.

The bank executive said the new Roeland Park location was not chosen for its proximity to the $165 million Mission Gateway development, but said it would be an added benefit. Construction on the 26-acre Gateway project, which includes a Wal-Mart and 300 apartments, began in July.

Work on the new Commerce branch in Roeland Park is expected to begin early next year with completion in late 2014 or early 2015.

In addition, Commerce is planning a similar-sized full-service branch at 95th Street and Antioch Road near the Hy-Vee supermarket. The two new branches will bring the total number operated by Commerce in the metropolitan area to 55.