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"I've got to tell you, I think we're going to land an office tenant relatively soon. It's a great location." (November 15, 2011, Kansas City Business Journal)
More than two years after this statement, office towers aren't in Mission Gateway's plans.
"Valenti plans to begin construction this summer if the STAR bond application is renewed and he can lease at least one of the three retail spaces above the Wal-Mart." (February 28, 2012, the Star)
Construction didn't start during the summer of 2012. Valenti also didn't get his STAR bonds. Read on.
"This is our choice. It was market-driven. I've been at this since 2005, and I don't easily give up. It literally breaks my heart to not do the aquarium, because I think it would have been a resounding success, but I didn't have time to wait. I have to get going." (June 12, 2012, the Star)
Valenti abandoned the aquarium to no one's great surprise. Almost four years after mocking Kansas City, Missouri, officials for pursuing their own aquarium and predicting that he would win the race to finally realize one, Sea Life Aquarium got built at Crown Center, and Mission Gateway's got capsized. That same article included his prediction that construction would start in the fall of 2012.
"Sprouts Family [sic] Market plans to occupy space in the Mission Gateway project, and the developer said Tuesday he expected to break ground on the project by early next year." (August 28, 2012, the Star)
Valenti missed another promise to start construction by the fall of 2012 and pushed it back to early 2013.
"It's been a long haul, and we're just thrilled to get started with work." (July 17, 2013, the Star)
A half-decade following his first construction timeline, Valenti finally got trucks out to the Mission Mall site and started pushing dirt around. The victory would be short-lived.
"We're finishing up leasing with potentially new and different tenants. That's been part of the holdup. Everything is taking far longer than I thought." (December 18, 2013, the Star)
Mission Gateway is taking far longer than we all thought.