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Business and the Economy

Springfield's Urban Core Driven by Private Development Projects

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Heer's building in downtown Springfield, another building slated for renovation. Photo Credit: Springfield-Greene County

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/springfield039s-urban-core-driven-private-development-projects_84287.mp3

Springfield city officials say there's been a boom in private development downtown so far this year.   That's reflected, they say, in an increase in building permits between January and March of this year. KSMU's Theresa Bettmann has more.

Driving west of the MSU campus into the downtown area, you may notice several new buildings under construction.  These are a few of the student housing developments considered part of downtown's growth.

Mary Smith is the city's economic development director. She says this type of private, commercial and multi-family residential activity--along with the rehabilitation of the Vandivort, Frisco and McDaniel buildings--are the main drivers behind this increase in building permits.

And those building permits are important to retail, Smith says, because "retail follows rooftops."  In other words, she expects more retailers and business services will move downtown as a result of these new buildings.

Nearly 30,000 residents and 40,000 students live within a mile of downtown, according to city figures, and 26,000 jobs are within a mile of downtown.

For KSMU News, I'm Theresa Bettmann.