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Local Focus at Eco-Friendly Farmers Park Development

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Construction is wrapping up at the newest eco-friendly development in Springfield, a new mixed-use complex called Farmers Park.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Construction is wrapping up at the newest eco-friendly development in Springfield, a new mixed-use complex called Farmers Park.

You can see it from the James River Freeway at Glenstone Ave.

The idea behind the Farmers Park complex is having a community, with a focus on local food and local shops.

The developers said sustainable buildings like this one are important to the future of Springfield.

Chef Wes Johnson is preparing for the dinner rush at his restaurant, Metropolitan Farmer.

It's the first business to open at the new development Farmers Park in south Springfield.

"We work a lot with local farmers we meet through the farmers market," Johnson said.

The restaurant gets food from about 20 local farms.

Johnson said they focus on fitting into the eco-friendly mission of the complex.

"From recycled materials, trying to do a farm to table restaurant, fit in with the farmers market," he said.

"We really want to create a unique space that fosters that sense of community," Director for Green Circle Projects Cody Danastasio said.

Construction began in 2012 and the mixed-use complex is about finished and ready for businesses and tenants.

"Farmers Park is about community, it's about encouraging the retailers to consider the person next to them a neighbor and everybody works together," Danastasio said.

And he said it's also about being kind to Mother Nature.

The buildings will be LEED certified and Energy Star certified.

But it's more than just energy and building materials, he said that it's a way of life.

The developers said that these mixed-use complexes are friendly for the environment in themselves because people don't have to get into their cars to shop, they just walk downstairs.

"Really encouraging all the 58 tenants to come downstairs and shop locally here. Having a Farmers Market in the center of everything is sort of what it's all about," Danastasio said.

Other local businesses will fill these retail shops.

They hope the success of Farmers Park is also a win for the community.

The winter weather has slowed some of the construction, but those retail shops are still set to open early February.

The apartments should be ready for leasing in the next couple months as well.
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