Mission Gateway construction still expected this summer

The 17-acre Gateway site at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Roe has been vacant for years but could still see dirt turning this summer.

The Mission Gateway project has missed its earlier predictions for the start of construction by June 1, but the developer says he is still hopeful that work will get under way in the next few weeks.

Developer Tom Valenti said the project still needs to sign a junior anchor, which will clear the way for the construction loan. “Everything takes longer than you think,” Valenti said, but he hopes the anchor agreement will come this month.

Valenti said his company is “finishing a few leases and all is going well.” The developers have applied for city permits for grading and initial foundation work, but no dirt has been turned yet at the site. Valenti has targeted August to close the construction loan and start bond sales, but said construction could start a few weeks before either of those events. Bidding construction work has already started.

In February Valenti had predicted that dirt would be moving at the site by May.  The development agreement approved by the city in January has development starting by June 1, but also says the development schedule is an “estimate” subject to change based on “market and other conditions (including, without limitation, tenant and purchaser availability and financing).” The agreement also describes development activities by June 1 to be only the issuance of a permit for grading.

Lining up construction financing is going better than expected, Valenti said, with potential new equity coming into the project. Mission Mayor Laura McConwell said city staff is meeting weekly with the developers to move the construction details forward.

The development is to be completed by December 31, 2015. Foundation work is scheduled to begin by this October.