Planned Gateway Project in Mission, Kan. inches closer to approval

MISSION, Kan. - A meeting Monday night could be the final hurdle facing the planned $165 million Gateway Project in Mission, Kan.

The Gateway Project is the planned development that includes a Walmart, farmer's market and other retail shops and restaurants on 17 acres at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive. If the project is approved, the Walmart in Roeland Park would close.

The public hearing allows Mission residents the chance to ask questions about the project and about the planned Community Improvement District, or CID.

The CID imposes an additional one percent sales tax above the current city sales tax in the pre-set development district to to repay bonds the city would issue for the project.

Originally, Walmart was not going to be taxed the extra one percent.  But now some Mission City leaders are asking Walmart to add at least a half-cent additional sales tax to help replay the bonds since Walmart is also benefiting from the bonds. 

Walmart executives initially stated that they should not have to charge additional taxes to its customers because a competing grocery store will be in the Gateway Project--something Walmart generally will not accept.

An estimated $36 million in bonds could be issued in Mission. The total cost of those bonds with underwriting and fees could reach $42 million.

The Mission Planning Commission has already approved the Gateway Project. The Mission City Council could take a final vote in December or January.

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