SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A major development is getting closer to becoming a reality in downtown Springfield. The multimillion-dollar project is part of the IDEA Commons – Initiative, Innovation, Development, Entrepreneurship, and Art.
The City of Springfield, Missouri State University, and the Vecino Group have been working on the design of this project for nine months. And on Wednesday, other city leaders learned what it might look like.
It’s being called a community-inspired catalyst for urban innovation. The project includes the expansion of the Jordan Valley Innovation Center and creating new office space and parking on the property across the street from JVIC.
MSU currently uses JVIC.
“We are completely full in the research part,” said MSU President Cliff Smart.
An expansion would connect it to a multi-purpose complex that would include office space to attract new companies or for those that are already in town.
“Those are also competitive projects. They don’t have to expand here, they can expand anywhere where the fit is right, so we really want that fit to be right here,” said Matt Morrow, president of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.
Matt Burton with the Vecino Group says it will be a couple more years before the plan becomes reality.
“Continuing to work on the design process and get approvals, that should take through the end of the year and you could theoretically start seeing construction in the beginning of next year,” said Burton.
Once it’s all completed, Morrow says it could change the culture of Downton.
“The surrounding properties become very different in the shadow of this development,” he said. “They become more valuable. They become more attractive for future development. And, if it’s partnered with the daylighting of the creek or some other great natural amenities, then you could see some real transformation happening in this side of town.”
In its entirety, the project will cost somewhere between $40 to 50 million. Where that money will come from is still being worked on by MSU and the Vecino Group. Most of it, Burton says, will be from private financing.