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More than one year after groundbreakings, little progress made at 2 metro mixed-use soccer complexes

GRANDVIEW, Mo. -- It's been more than a year since developers broke ground on two mixed-use soccer complexes and, so far, not much else has happened.

In August 2016, developers broke ground on the $234 million Gateway Village Sports Complex  in Grandview. Three months later, another developer broke ground on the $212 million Paragon Star in Lee's Summit.

Like Gateway, Paragon Star also promised tons of shopping, dining and hotels. The complexes combined boasted they would bring 740 hotel rooms to the metro.

Backers of the 250-acre, 14 turf field complex in Grandview, the largest in state history, said they’d begin playing soccer last spring. Paragon Star also planned to have its 12 fields ready by now.

But after a few piles of dirt were moved and the respective cities forked over tens of million of dollars in economic incentives, both still sit empty.

“It’s been challenging to say the least, but it’s been exciting to figure out how we are going to do this, working with partners. You have to be patient," Gateway Village developer Deron Cherry said.

The former Kansas City Chief All-Pro safety is partnering with Heartland Soccer on Gateway. He said since the initial development agreement was signed, he’s been working to get the city to make needed infrastructure improvements to roads and sewers.

He said if a deal is reached soon, he hopes to have fields ready for play this fall before getting shops and restaurants to sign on.

“I think what they are waiting for is those soccer fields to be built, and behind those soccer fields I think there’s a lot of interest," Cherry said.

Paragon Star project coordinator Bill Brown said he’s faced similar public infrastructure challenges.

That project's development group even offered to build an $8 million parkway near Interstate 435 and View High Drive as part of the project. But the plan failed because of the need to annex Kansas City land into Lee's Summit.

Paragon Star will now have to work with Kansas City for part of the project, but developers plan to start building in Lee’s Summit in hopes of having some fields ready next spring.

But like their initial scheduled openings Tuesday, Brown called that "an aggressive timeline."