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Mission Gateway developer submits new proposal

Posted: 8:56 PM, Sep 09, 2015
Updated: 2015-09-10 01:56:43Z

Same song, different verse. That's what city officials and business owners are saying about the latest proposal for the Mission Gateway project.

The 16 acres of dirt and land in between Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson Drive have been empty since 2006 when bulldozers flattened the once upscale Mission Mall.

Tom Valenti, the New York based developer, submitted the new plans and drawings recently to Mission City Hall. The plan calls for Walmart as the anchor tenant, 170 apartments, a national chain hotel, stores and restaurants. Valenti said construction should begin in January 2016, and the store should be open in November 2016.

Valenti said on Wednesday this deal should be the proposal that council members will finally approve.

Mission Mayor Steve Schowengerdt and surrounding business owners who've seen the blight hurt other retailers said they are skeptical.

"I sure hope it does. I wish him well,” said Schowengerdt. “I'm not going to hold my breath.”

Schowengerdt has been in office since 2003 and has seen several proposals fail.

In 2006, Valenti proposed high-end condos, restaurants and retailers, but he said the recession brought that Swiss village-like proposal to a close.

Valenti also proposed an aquarium, a tourist attraction that would have required state tax breaks and then, later, he proposed a Walmart topped with stores that met significant opposition to the giant box store.

"So many times, it's just a bunch of broken promises," said Mike Maniquis, GM of Nail Perfection, a store located across Johnson Drive.

But Maniquis said he has decided he still doesn't like the idea Walmart, but he would rather have something than nothing.

"We want something there, but something that's viable for Mission,” Schowengerdt said. “We don't want to settle on anything."

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Amy Hawley can be reached at amy.hawley@kshb.com .

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