SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A church will soon replace the former Palace Theater in south Springfield.
Life 360 Parkcrest campus will be relocating from its current location to the former theater after all but one city council member voted yes to approve a zoning change to allow churches to operate there.
Councilman Mike Schilling was the only one who voted against it, citing the city would lose property taxes.
Residents in the Chesterfield area agree and say they are worried about the future of their neighborhood. They believe if city council had been patient and waited a few months another retail vendor would have moved in. They say this will be a flip property for the church and that council didn’t honor the vision of urban development that was put in place for this neighborhood originally.
“I’m very upset about it. I think it’s going to cost us property values,” said Gary McCurter, president of Chesterfield Village Apartments HOA. “We had a planned urban development that was centered around the theater being part of it. Not necessarily that theater, but a theater or something that drew people from other neighborhoods.”
“It seems like we’ve kind of lost that vision of how this was all started,” said David Nokes, vice president of Chesterfield HOA. “It’s still a great neighborhood, and of course, we will welcome anybody that comes into our neighborhood. “
Life360 has sold its current campus to New Covenant Academy. Both the church and the academy plan to make their move in the fall of 2018.