SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– In less than one month, crews will be breaking ground on one of Springfield’s most anticipated projects – a complete transformation of a two-mile stretch of Grant Avenue.
The premise of the Grant Avenue Parkway Project is to create a connection between downtown Springfield and Sunshine Street, featuring new landscapes, walking and bike paths, and landmarks to build lasting memories for those living and visiting the city.
“Springfield, if you think about it, has a lot of really interesting places and a lot of interesting destinations,” said Tim Rosenbury, Director of Quality of Place Initiatives with the City of Springfield. “What Springfield doesn’t do particularly well is connect one destination to the other, or allow that destination to spin off or create other opportunities for development around it. Grand Avenue Parkway…is really about addressing that.”
The multi-million dollar plan has been in the works for about two years, and will likely take another two years before all three phases are complete.
Crews will break ground on Phase 1 in mid-May, with construction beginning in the middle, between Parkview High School and the Fassnight Creek bridge.
The city will be narrowing the roadway from three lanes to two, as well as adding a roundabout at the school’s west entrance.
It means traffic will move slower on the roadway once completed, but the extra space will allow for a wide multi-use path on the east side, and a sidewalk on the other.
While the City of Springfield is laying the groundwork for future development, Rosenbury said in the end, it will be up to business owners to set up shop along the route in order to make the city’s renderings come to life.
One area Rosenbury said he would like to see transform is a small stretch between the Fassnight Creek and the intersection of Grant and Grand Street.
“I see this segment as having terrific potential for the creation of a community place. It could be on the level of Galloway, of Cherry and Pickwick…charming, attractive and entrepreneurial. That’s what we would like to see here.”
It’s a spot that hasn’t seen development for decades until now.
Driving the stretch today, OzarksFirst crews noticed a For Sale sign on a long-vacant lot now displaying the words “Sold, Sold, Sold.”
OzarksFirst spoke briefly with the new owner of the property, who confirmed the new development is in connection with the Grant Avenue Parkway Project, but chose to keep the details confidential, for now.
Rosenberg said the Grant Avenue Parkway Project embodies the city’s focus of creating a better ‘quality of place’ for folks looking to put down roots in Springfield.
“We have to solve the problem. But if we’re going to solve the problem, let’s solve it in a beautiful way,” Rosenbury said on Wednesday.
By not only fixing the problems but creating spaces in town that spark emotion and allow people to create memories, Rosenbury said a $30-million-dollar investment could lead to hundreds of millions in revenue.
The potential economic impact of the project is why the City of Springfield is also planning to offer a financial incentives package for developers interested in investing along Grant Avenue.
Rosenbury said details of the incentives package should be released in the next six weeks.
A groundbreaking ceremony is set for some time in the week of May 16th at Parkview High School.
Officials with the City of Springfield tell OzarksFirst a date and time will be finalized in the coming days.
To learn more about the Grant Avenue Parkway Project, click here – https://grantavenueparkway.com/