Mission City Council approves plan for redevelopment of Mission Center Mall

A decision 12 years in the making
Posted at 11:59 AM, Oct 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 09:33:58-04

MISSION, Kan. -- Wednesday night, Mission city council members gave the green light to a plan and financing proposal to redevelop the former Mission Center Mall. Different projects have failed over the past 12 years. 

Developers from The Cameron Group revealed the latest version of their plan for what they've called Mission Gateway. It includes restaurants, a market, and entertainment options featuring patio and party games. The idea was to create something that will draw people to the area.

The plan does not include a box store like Walmart, which the city council previously denied. 

Mayor Steve Schowengerdt said residents of Mission repeatedly spoke out against building box stores on the site. He wouldn't reveal the plans for this latest proposal, but said it will include entertainment and retail components. 

Tom Valenti, from The Cameron Group, wouldn't reveal specific names of tenants until they signed leases. Nonetheless, Mayor Schowengerdt called the concept "exciting and unique," adding that it will stand the test of time. 

The council also approved a partnership to split some tax revenues from the project between the city and the developer. It should generate roughly $2 million annually for the city.

"I am thrilled. This is great. This gets us to the starting line and we're going to get to the finish line," Valenti said. "We've been at this, I hate to say it, 11 years, but this is real."

This plan is the latest in a series of several concepts for the site since 2005. Mayor Schowengerdt admitted it's natural for some people to be skeptical about the latest proposal. 

"Yeah, there is a little doubt, just because it has been 12 years. But the developer's hung in there, we've hung in there and the residents have hung in there. Like I said, they will be excited," he promised.

The development near Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue will also include apartments, offices and two hotels. 

Valenti said construction should begin next year.