The Mission council took the first steps to issue more than $200 million in industrial revenue bonds for the long-stalled Mission Gateway project, signaling that a new groundbreaking date may be in the offing in the coming months.
In a 7-0 vote Wednesday evening, the council approved a resolution establishing the intent and authority of Mission to issue the industrial revenue bonds of no more than $214,258,589 for the project. If issued, the bonds would allow the developer to purchase construction materials for the project without paying sales tax.
Developer Tom Valenti said the company has plans to use the bonds “very soon.” He said outstanding taxes for the project will be paid around mid-July, and that he expects the company will receive building and off-site permits around the same time. The goal is to begin construction about the first week of September.
Last month, Valenti’s company announced Chef Tom Colicchio will be the curator of a 40,000 square foot food gall operation at the intersection of Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue.
But the identity of the tenant for the adjacent building reserved for “entertainment” uses is still unknown. On Wednesday, Valenti told the council he hopes to nail down plans for a “very large, exciting entertainment tenant” soon. That use is something Valenti has been discussing since October of last year. That tenant would be a “great complement” to the food hall and outdoor activities that would move in the area, Valenti said, adding that other tenants are in talks with Cameron to move in.
The development plan for the current Gateway proposal was approved in October 2017. The agreement at the time considered the company’s request for Mission to issue the industrial revenue bonds, which would exempt the developer from paying sales taxes on certain construction materials and supplies, according to city documents on the resolution.
Actual bond issuance will occur at a later date, at which time the size of the issue will be finalized. Once finalized, Mission will not be financially responsible for paying off the bonds and associated interest. City Administrator Laura Smith said the bonds are not a general obligation of Mission and are not backed by the full faith and credit of Mission. Furthermore, the bonds can’t be paid off by taxation, but shall be payable solely from the funds provided for in the agreement.