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Downtown Development Opens

National franchises, locally-owned businesses and residents are among the tenents of the newly developed Wilhoit Plaza in downtown Springfield. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

National franchises, locally-owned businesses and residents are among the tenants of the newly developed Wilhoit Plaza. The project's developers today unveiled the new commercial tenets that will occupy the block-long building, located at Jefferson and Pershing.

Matt Miller is one of the owners of the Matt Miller Company which developed Wilhoit Plaza.

Miller says making the building habitable took a lot of work, given the condition it was in when he acquired it.

Almost there but not quite...About 20 percent of the commercial space is still available.

Among the businesses already leasing space are two national franchises: Quizno's Subs and Planet Smoothie. There are also locally-owned businesses including Gracie's Bridal and Ophelia's, a tapas and wine bar.

Miller says patrons of businesses at Wilhoit Plaza will notice the historic aspects of the building's restoration that harken back to the 1920's.

All of the 32 loft apartments at Wilhoit Plaza have already been leased.

Rusty Worley, Executive Director of the Urban Districts Alliance says he pleased to see so many people wanting to live downtown.

Worley says the development is a key to linking downtown and the nearby campus of Missouri State University.