More development coming to downtown Springfield means long term economic stability

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Springfield seems to be thriving and growing right now, that includes downtown.

A multi-million dollar apartment complex will be built on the vacant lot that sits on St. Louis Street.

"We always like to joke that downtown is our 25 year overnight success," said Sarah Kerner, Economic Development Director for Springfield.

Downtown Springfield has been slowly transforming. Old buildings have made new again. Restaurants, shops and living spaces now fill once abandoned buildings.

"What we're seeing now is some new construction happening downtown. That really shows that the historic tax credit program did exactly what it was supposed to do which is stabilize an area and build investor confidence," she said.

Kerner explained that the confidence of those investors is now extending to financial lenders who see economic vitality in the downtown area.

"We really rely on banks to do market studies. If they decide to finance a project then clearly they're feeling pretty confident that they're going to get paid back," she said.

This is especially when it comes to the housing market in this part of town.

"Apartments serve an important purpose for a lot of people," she said.

Planning and Zoning takes a close look at what is needed to sustain the life of any given part of the city.

For the downtown area that means a place where people can live, work and relax.

"Young people and millenials really have an interest living in a downtown area where there's a lot of bustling activities," said Kerner.

As the area continues to evolve so does the opportunity for long term success.

"The health of a community can really be determined by the health of their downtown," said Kerner.

The city is also looking ahead to ways to connect Commercial Street to downtown.

If you want to weigh in on future development of the city, check out their Forward SGF website.