By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor
While the border war between Kansas and Missouri saw a breakthrough as the two joined forces to keep the Marine Data Center from relocating to New Orleans, the Kansas City Star now reports Roeland Park is accusing its neighbor Mission of poaching its biggest retailer, Walmart, in order to kick-start a long-delayed project.
The $200 million Gateway project, developed by Tom Valenti and his company, the Cameron Group of Syracuse, N.Y., has been re-designed and Mission officials have declared they’re pleased with the changes, which include a big Walmart.
Tom Valenti stated Wal-Mart Stores Inc., was “surprisingly cooperative” when it came to adapting the store’s design to integrate it into the project. Surprisingly, the store will have 125,000 square feet of retail space, for three stores, above it. Only a couple of other Walmart stores in the country have retailers above.
Construction work is expected to start this summer as long as the STAR bond application is renewed and Valenti leases at least one of the spaces above Walmart. In the first stage alongside the Walmart and second-floor retail segment, a garage, an aquarium and hotel are also planned. The work is scheduled to be completed by August 2014, although the Walmart is expected to open sooner.
The city of Roeland Park has submitted a formal challenge with state economic development officials claiming the STAR bond tax incentives are supposed to attract new businesses—not move existing ones. Mission officials, however, claim that Walmart has wanted to leave the location at 5150 Roe Blvd. in Roeland Park since 2004.
Illustration Credits: www.mission-ks.org