Mission Gateway latest plan estimated to cost $268 million — Here’s what comes next

Mission Gateway rendering 2022

Mission Gateway developers are estimating the project to cost $268 million — here's where the conversation is headed. File image via city documents.

Mission Gateway developers are estimating a $268 million total cost to pull off the latest iteration of the much-watched project at Roe Avenue and Johnson Drive.

What’s new? The Mission Planning Commission on Monday discussed and ultimately found that a proposed tax increment financing plan for the newest version of the Mission Gateway project to be consistent with the city’s long-term comprehensive plan.

Why it matters: This is the first time we’ve heard about Mission Gateway since February, when the city council approved a pre-development agreement for what is the fifth version of a plan to redevelop the prominent and long-vacant site off Shawnee Mission Parkway.

  • While the plan outlines how much the developers anticipate spending on the project and the eligible incentives associated with that cost, City Administrator Laura Smith told the Post following the meeting that this is not necessarily what the developer is asking for as far as incentives go.
  • This approval Monday needed to happen in order for the city council to call a public hearing and discuss the financial details of the project, Smith told the planning commission.
An incomplete structure on the Mission Gateway site has seen little progress over the past two years. File photo.

What’s left to do: Developers specific request for incentives for the new version of the plan will be outlined in a development agreement, Smith said, and there will be several city meetings before that is finalized.

  • Smith told the planning commission on Monday that the financial part — which is not what the planning commission discussed — is subject to a public hearing process before the city council.
  • Additionally, Smith said future presentations of the Mission Gateway project will likely designate a portion of the apartment units for affordable housing and include a conversation around sustainability.

Background: This latest version of the Mission Gateway plan devotes more space to residential units and less square footage to a proposed retail aspect centered around a food hall than the previous iteration.

  • Last year, developers failed to follow through on a requirement to be substantially completed by the end of 2021, which resulted in the development agreement with the city expiring.
  • The expired agreement ultimately led to the latest iteration — as presented by developer Tom Valenti of New York-based Cameron Group LLC — of the mixed-use development.
  • Read the Post’s Mission Gateway timeline here, detailing years of history at the site with developers.

Project and potential financing details: City documents show developers estimate the project to be eligible for $64 million worth of tax increment financing incentives to build the 17-acre mixed-use development.

  • The $64 million TIF ask is less than 25% of total costs ($268 million), according to city documents.
  • Additionally, the TIF plan states the project would be completed in two phases.
  • Phase one is proposed to include construction of nearly 50,000 square feet of small commercial or restaurant uses, a 90,000 square foot entertainment space and more than 350 apartment units.
  • Phase two is proposed to include a 202-room hotel and 100,000 square foot office or medical facility.
  • Smith told the planning commission this would be more of a phased start, and the two components would be completed at the same time.
  • This plan details more office or medical space, more apartment units and less commercial space, according to city documents.

What’s next: The finance and administration committee is tentatively scheduled review the TIF project plan, a Community Improvement District petition and the associated resolutions to call the public hearing for each at the Aug. 3 meeting, according to a draft Mission Gateway project calendar provided to the Post by Smith.

  • The city council will tentatively consider approval of resolutions to call a public hearing on the TIF project plan and the CID petition at the Aug. 17 meeting.
  • A separate ordinance repealing the existing TIF and CID plans and considering the new ones will be on the Sept. 7 finance committee agenda, along with a review of a development agreement.
  • A city council work session is scheduled for Sept. 14 to review the ordinances, the development agreement and a resolution approving the development agreement.
  • Two weeks later, on Sept. 28, a special city council meeting is planned for each public hearing and the consideration of the ordinances and the development agreement.

Key quote: “As a reminder for the public, the city is obligated to hear and consider the developer’s request,” Smith told the Post via email. “Calendaring the discussions does not commit or guarantee any specific level of incentives for the developer, and the TIF eligible expenses shown in the plan do not represent the actual dollar amount provided to the developer should any incentives be approved.”