With office tenant now likely part of the mix, Mission to set new public finance hearing on Gateway project for August

The Gateway property
The Gateway property continues to sit vacant.

The potential addition of a $30 million office facility as part of the long-stalled Gateway project in Mission has forced the city to push back the public hearing date for associated community improvement district and tax increment financing plans.

City Administrator Laura Smith told the city council at its meeting last week that representatives of the Cameron Group communicated to the city earlier this month that they believed they had an office tenant ready to sign on to the development.

“They are actively working with an office tenant,” Smith said. “So they have increased the scope of their project and the project budget at this point by $30 million to include the office tenant…We think that’s a positive improvement to the project.”

With the addition of an office tenant, however, the financials of the project would be significantly different enough from what the city had already approved that Smith recommended the city consider a slightly amended TIF agreement. That agreement was approved at a very short meeting of the city’s planning commission on Monday. On Wednesday, the city will have a special council meeting at which it will set a public hearing date for the amended TIF agreement as well as for a new community improvement district application.

Cameron has indicated to the city that it wants to replace the existing two CIDs approved back when Walmart was a centerpiece of the project with a single CID that would charge the same sales tax rate across the entire district. (Under the previously approved CIDs, the Walmart would have charged a lower sales tax rate than the rest of the businesses on the site).

The new public hearings for the TIF and CID will be in August.

Cameron told the city last year that it hoped to break ground on a portion of the project that would not use public financing in spring of this year. To date, the city has not received any permit applications for that work to begin.