Citing economic impact of pandemic, Mission Gateway developer says construction can’t resume at present

Work on the 90,000 square foot Cinergy entertainment complex began in fall 2019 with plans to open this year. Officials said today that construction would not resume as previously expected on the site.

Just weeks after developers indicated the project was on schedule for a partial opening later this year, the city of Mission on Tuesday evening announced construction on the Mission Gateway will not resume this summer as expected.

Construction on the project originally came to a halt in late March, with the developer saying social distancing requirements necessitated by COVID-19 forced the pause.

Project leaders had indicated at the time that construction would resume once COVID-19 shutdown restrictions began to lift. But, city officials said today, with two funding sources on hold due to the economic impacts of the pandemic, the finances aren’t in place to continue moving forward at present.

Mission Gateway Developer Andy Ashwal said in a release that the pause is discouraging, but the financial issues are not unique to the long-awaited development on Johnson Drive.

“A few weeks ago, we were optimistic about the speed at which the economy would bounce back, projecting there would be a market to sell municipal bonds,” Ashwal said. “The slowed recovery has also impacted the private mezzanine financing and both components are critical to being able to resume construction on the project.”

Mission Gateway has various funding sources as it stands, including developer equity, private loans and city-issued special obligation bonds.

Construction equipment will be removed from the Mission Gateway site as the delay continues.

The development team will continue with leasing and design efforts despite the delay, and work is underway to find replacement funding to finish the project in a timely manner.

Construction at Mission Gateway began in 2019 with the Cinergy entertainment complex and a multi-story parking garage. Future planned elements include a hotel, office building and food hall. Neither the city nor the developer have an anticipated date for the resumption of work on the site.

Mission Mayor Ron Appletoft said he and the city council were disappointed about the continued delay, but the development team has remained transparent about Gateway’s challenges.

“This is not where we hoped to be, but we have to respond to the realities in front of us,” Appletoft said. “The city team is committed to exploring options, while continuing to protect the city’s financial interest in the project.”

It’s been nearly 15 years since the Mission Center Mall closed on the site.