Preliminary plan for Mission Gateway approved

Posted at 9:51 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 23:27:50-05

A preliminary design for the Mission Gateway Project has been approved 5-4. The council vote came down to Mayor Steve Schowengerdt, much to the disappointment of several people who live in the area.

Andy Sandler shared this thoughts on the developer during public comment. "He's had plenty of opportunity, it's time to end this once and for all and hand it over to somebody who actually has a decent vision and can execute it and something we will be proud of over the next few years. We can't afford to do this," Sandler voiced.

This site plan was proposed back in September 2015, but now Cameron Group, the developer, has added an optional green space and a walking path on the roof of the 155,000-square-foot Walmart building. President of the Gateway Developers Tom Valenti argues the recently approved plan is very similar to the one that was approved back in 2013. Valenti said, "A lot of the residents are not in favor of a Walmart and I believe I understand why. I hope that we will dispel those concerns and this will be a project that they will be proud of."

This is the latest step in a long history dating back to 2005 when Cameron Group bought Mission Mall. The following year, the 26-acre site was approved for redevelopment and it was rezoned for mixed use. Multiple plans have been presented to the city since then with no success. It's been about 2 1/2 years since the groundbreaking at the site.

Valenti is facing several lawsuits and liens totaling about $3 million for work local companies completed but say they were never paid for.

People who oppose the plan say the would like to see small businesses and restaurants, even a boutique hotel. Sandler emphasized, "I think most people are willing to stick it out a little longer if somebody can come up with a better plan."

The Gateway Developers will now meet with the city attorney and come up with an agreement and proceed to the next phase.


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