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'A lot of plans and promises': Frustrations brew over Mission Gateway delay

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 12:20:03-04

MISSION, Kan.  — Frustration continues to build for people working and living near the Mission Gateway development, who say there have been no signs of progress on the project for months.

With plans in place to build a food hall, hotel and entertainment center near Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue, many thought construction would have ramped up by now. So far, though, the plot of land is still mostly dirt.

In mid-December, Cinergy Entertainment Group announced it would join the project with plans to open a 90,000-square-foot entertainment center in 2020. The facility will include an elevated rope course, zip lines, interactive games and a bowling alley.

Other parts of the project, which has been in the works for more than a decade, will include 168 apartments over retail space, a 40,000-square-foot food hall curated by Tom Colicchio and a 200-room Element hotel.

Currently, an architect is still being selected to design the food hall.

Construction on the rest of the development, however, stalled for the most part in December and then again in March as the main project developers, GFI and Cameron Group LLC, closed on a private financing package for construction.

Officials add progress has been slow because the developer is waiting on a permit from Johnson County Wastewater to begin work on the site.

The repeated delays have caused nearby businesses to look at the site with skepticism.

"There’s not doing something right," said Shabana Khetani, who owns Amstar next to the development.

Khetani has had to look at the piece of land for over a decade.

"For so many years I had my hopes high, but now I’m not even hopeful about that because I know that when something comes up after some days, the plan is just a big flop," Khetani said.

Ultimately, she says the lack of progress puts a dent into her bottom line.

"A lot of plans and promises, and after that they play with your emotions and nothing happens and it hurts. It is hurting my business and I feel like sometimes I want to give up," Khetani said.

Others believe it's a foregone conclusion that the spot will remain undeveloped.

"I’ve given up. I think everyone has just given up," said Joe Harter, who lives near the site.

Tom Valenti with the Cameron Group did not return a request for comment.

City officials told 41 Action News that within the next week, people should start seeing more activity on the site.