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Mission Gateway developer fails to pay $365k in property taxes

Mission Gateway Project.png
Posted at 5:52 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 18:52:09-04

MISSION, Kan. — There is yet another bump in the road for a Mission development some worry will never get finished.

Tom Valenti of New York's Cameron Group, the Mission Gateway project's developer, did not pay $365,000 in property taxes, according to Johnson County officials.

Mission City Council members were made aware of the delinquent taxes in late May.

Ward 4 Councilwoman Sollie Flora said this puts Valenti at default of the development agreement with the city.

"You know I think at this point, the council it seems and definitely the community have lost faith in the developer," Flora said. "I really like the mixed-use project that's been put together for the site so Ideally I'd like to see the developer sell it to someone else who would get that project done."

The project's website promises an experiential destination, including food, shopping, hospitality and entertainment.

After years of slow progress and a stall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, community members are tired of looking at the project's skeleton.

"It's hideous, the stairwell for the parking ramp that looks like you could knock it over with a push," Mission resident Cookie Cave said.

Nearby business owners have grown frustrated with the project's shaky road considering the economic potential for the area.

Mike Alhmood, owner of Kinzi Mediterranean restaurant, said if completed, the project would mean a boost in business.

"The more people you have around, the more people we have, we have a good, nice place here, people like the food, but it's not a crowded area, you need to attract people," Alhmood said. "Something has to be done about it."

Flora said council members often get questions about why the City cannot turn the land into a park or green space.

"It is a private development, we can't just come in and take the project," Flora said.

The City has sent a notice to Valenti. He has 60 days to pay in order to get back into compliance with the development agreement.

The project's construction deadline is December 2021.

"We hope he will come back to Council before then and give us an update and let us know if it's going to be done by then or not, but the ball is in their court on that," Flora said.