MISSION, Kan. -- An eye sore no more. After sitting empty for nearly eight years work begins Monday on the long-awaited Mission Gateway Project.
The Mission Center Mall was demolished back in 2006. The plot of land has sat empty ever since, but Monday work begins on a new massive project that will include a Walmart, apartments and other retail stores.
Walmart will be the anchor store and will replace the Roeland Park Walmart -- just a mile down the road -- that is set to close in 2015.
The Mission Gateway Project includes 300 thousand square feet of retail space in all as well as hundreds of upscale luxury apartments. The entire project is estimated at 165 million dollars and with work starting today it's expected to be finished in a year and a half to two years.
Many in town say it's a good move for the city, one that will attract even more new businesses, customers and residents. But the project isn't without controversy. Some small business owners said they fear the big box store will put them out of business.