There are positives and challenges to the proposed development on the 500 acre site South of Gasconade Street and North of the US 60/US 65 interchange.
I have lived here for 15 years and knew it was a matter of time before the acreage turned into either a housing development or a commercial development. Mr. Murray, along with other well-known developers is going to give the multi-phase project its shape in the coming years.
The positives of the development include possible nationwide stores like Costco, Crate and Barrel, Whole Foods Market, and Ruth’s Chris Steak House coming to the Springfield Metropolitan Area. This development would mirror the successful Zona Rosa development in Kansas City. The property tax value of what has been essentially farmland would go up significantly after the development is completed. The final positive I see is the infrastructure of a six-lane US 65 Highway and the new 60/65 interchange with flyover exit ramps.
The challenges of the development are as follows:
· How to create an interchange without negatively affecting the residents to the North and South of the proposed development?
· To create or not create an alternative access road East of the James River ex.) Farm Road 170
· What would happen to the Battlefield Mall if its main tenants leave to go to the more modern 60/65 development?
· Would the city have to agree to a long-term TIF or CID to get the developers on board?
· How would a second large retail shopping development affect police protection in the rest of the city?
My opinions on the project
· If the county and the city go ahead with a road to the East of the development that the residents in that area loathe, the city will have an almost impossible time getting the residents to agree to annexation in the future. I do not support a PUBLIC road East of the development at this time.
· The development should be almost finished before the Park Board starts any master plan on the banks of the James River.
· There needs to be a plan in place to keep the Battlefield Mall from degrading if major tenants are lost to this new development. This is very important to me as a homeowner in the Meador Park Estates neighborhood.
· I can say I am not a fan of the CID, or Community Improvement District. The least that a developer can do if it chooses to ask for this revenue producer is to inform the customer in writing what the tax rate is within the CID.