FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
While private development projects continue to spring up across the city, over the last year, downtown Springfield has seen the most private commercial and multi-family residential activity, according to the City's Economic Development department. Economic Development Director Mary Lilly Smith said she was pleasantly surprised when the numbers seen on the attached "heat map" revealed that Springfield's urban core had the highest density of private-development projects from Jan. 1, 2013 through March 31, 2014.
"I think that anecdotally, Springfieldians see the south side as where the most private development takes place in our city," Smith said. "But in our department, we knew there has been a lot of activity in downtown Springfield for awhile. We looked at all projects – from January 2013 until the end of March of this year – that were issued building permits, projects with estimated permit fees (the preliminary step to issuance of a building permit), and projects with an inferred project cost of $100,000 or more. What we came up with is that right now, the highest level of private commercial and multi-family development is occurring in downtown Springfield."
Smith referenced the rehabilitation of the Vandivort, Frisco and McDaniel buildings, and new construction of student housing developments, as the primary drivers for the numbers.
"What this shows is a healthy reinvestment in the urban core of Springfield," Smith said. "Every healthy community has a healthy downtown. These findings are consistent with the goals set in Vision 20/20, and in the recent Field Guide 2030 community strategic plan."
Other areas of significant development in the city include the Wonders of Wildlife/Bass Pro Outdoor World complex at Sunshine Street and Campbell Avenue; Farmers Park on East Republic Road; and hotels near Mercy Hospital and at U.S. 65 and Battlefield Road.Downtown Springfield by the Numbers
$230 million private investment in downtown over 15 years (does not include institutional development such as governmental, educational or health care) $125 million +/- private development in the pipeline (Heer’s, Woodruff, etc.) 26,000 jobs within 1 mile of downtown 30,000 full-time residents within 1 mile of downtown 40,000 students within 1 mile of downtown.
For more information, contact Mary Lilly Smith, City of Springfield director of Economic Development, 417-864-1094 or email@example.com.