Natural grocery store is second named tenant for Mission Gateway project

The Mission Gateway project picked up momentum this week as the developer for the property announced another tenant and the Mission City Council began prepping for its upcoming decisions about financing for the development.

The Gateway, between Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway along Roe Avenue, will have a Sprouts Farmers Market joining the anchor tenant, Walmart, at the site. Sprouts operates grocery stores throughout the western United States that focus on natural, healthy and organic offerings. This would be their first store in Kansas and their easternmost location.

The city expects work on the project to start shortly after the first of the year.

In preparation, council members were briefed Wednesday night by City Administrator Mike Scanlon as well as by the city’s bond counsel and financial advisor. Scanlon told the council that the city will begin negotiations with the developer on appropriate incentives that are beneficial to the city as he walked them through the steps to a final agreement.

The Mission Plan Commission is expected to hear the proposal from the developer on financing and development in late September. The project is estimated at $160 million and will include 300 apartments along with 300,000 square feet of retail space, in addition to the 150,000 square foot Walmart.

Most projects of this size use some public incentive in the financing, bond advisor Gary Anderson told the council as he briefed them on types of bonds available. The city’s debt load limitations have room for Gateway bonds plus other projects the city might want to finance such as a new swimming pool, according to the financial advisor. The prospect of retiring storm water bonds early with Gateway revenues appealed to several councilors.

Since the developer is no longer pursuing an aquarium center piece, some bonding options are no longer available. Cameron Development Group owns the property. In 2005 it demolished the Mission Center Mall. The economic downturn has stalled the redevelopment since then.