SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — BK&M is altering its approach to a potential development that would be built at the intersection of Sunshine Street and National Avenue if the city council would allow the area to be rezoned.

“We want that corner to be charming,” Ralph Duda said. 

The proposal had been primarily centered around a “mixed-use” complex.

“[The neighbors] don’t like the idea of a six- or seven-story mixed-use complex, especially with that design being at that spot,” Duda said. “So, we decided to scale it back a little bit.” 

Duda says he’s made some changes based on feedback from some neighbors.

“We plan on planting 60 or 70 large evergreen trees to shield them from sight, sound of the development, but also still allow them a pathway to access it,” Duda said. “I heard they think it’d be cool to have a grocery chain or something where they can walk and get their amenities.” 

This past week, members of Springfield’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted not to recommend the plan as it was to the city council.

Some commissioners, while voting no, told the room they believed in time, development at that corner would eventually happen.

“I really believe that this quadrant is eventually going to develop and there probably is going to be a commercial use there,” Commissioner Carl Knuckles said.

“I believe the property can be successfully rezoned in alignment with the Vision 2020 Plan and can create a meaningful gateway from the residential crossroads along National and Sunshine to the commercial blocks that follow,” Commissioner Natalie Broekhoven said. 

Duda said developing the final corner of National and Sunshine is needed.

“The other three corners are commercial for a reason. Two of the four corners went commercial in the last five years for a reason, and I don’t see ours being any different. I think it’s needed at that corner,” Duda said.  

The developer added that he is continuing to meet with neighbors and city officials to find a middle ground.

“I think there’s still a long way to go. This is going to evolve,” Duda said. “I’m hopeful that we’re able to continue dialogue with more and more neighbors because we do want their buy-in — we do want their say.”