SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — 2021 had its fair share of challenges, but there were some bright spots for some businesses in the Ozarks in the form of construction and economic growth. 2022 is looking to bring much of the same for the area.

Retail giant Amazon put stakes in the Ozarks, opening a massive new fulfillment center in Republic in August. The facility added more than a thousand jobs. The opening was one factor experts named for rising rent prices in Greene County.

Just across James River Freeway, worldwide relief agency Convoy of Hope moved its global warehouse and hub. The organization also announced plans for a new headquarters office building to be constructed on the same property.

The area landed national retailer Costco when it opened near Chestnut Expressway and U.S. 65 in August. Natural Grocers, with a smaller feel, also opened on South Battlefield.

And, Hy-Vee fans have watched with excitement as the city’s second grocery store of that brand goes up on East Sunshine St. That store is set to open soon. Along the lines of food, the landmark Heritage Cafeteria on East Battlefield Road was knocked down to make way for this a retail and residential complex

Some of the projects aren’t new building, but taking what is old and making it fresh again.
Take the 70s era Plaza Towers, which is getting a makeover to bring it into the 2020s.

It’s a similar story for the old K-Mart (originally Venture) store on South Glenstone Ave. Construction workers are getting “crafty,” turning the place into two stores, Mardel and Hobby Lobby.

Maybe your pastime is a hobby, or maybe a sport…which you’ll be able to catch plenty of at the Betty and Bobby Allision Sports Town on Route 266. The complex is expected to draw youth sports leagues from across the county.

In addition to commercial and residential developments, there were also numerous road projects. One of those included widening James River Freeway in south Springfield. MoDOT is putting the finishing touches on the big project, expanding it to six lanes from US 65 to National Avenue. It’s just one thing for drivers to look forward to as we hit the road to 2022.