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Business and the Economy

Court Decision Could Allow Sale of Springfield Church to Walmart

Scott Harvey
/
KSMU
Attorney Mike Textor says Life360 can now sell its property at Grand and Campbell/Credit: Scott Harvey

The long contested sale of a Springfield church to Walmart to construct a Neighborhood Market is expected to move forward. This after the Missouri Supreme Court chose not to review an appeals court ruling that blocks a public vote on the rezoning for the store. 

KYTV reports that the denial by the high court this week appears to pave the way for construction of the city’s newest Walmart at the corner of Grand and Campbell, near Missouri State University.

Leaders of Life360 Church have wanted to sell its facility because maintaining the large structure has become too expensive for its dwindling congregation.

In February 2013, Springfield City Council voted to rezone the property for retail use. But opponents submitted a referendum petition seeking to repeal the change, and council elected to place the issue on the ballot for that August.

That was met with a lawsuit from Life360 challenging, among other things, the validity of the city’s referendum process in accordance with state law. While the city was cleared of any errors, the church earned a victory as the public vote was blocked.

Six citizens then sued the church, the owners of the residential lots, and the city, but were denied the right to intervene in the case. Later that year, the Southern District Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, and this week the Missouri Supreme Court declined to review the case.

John Holstein is an attorney representing Life360 Church and other nearby property owners. He said Wednesday that he expects the next step for his clients is to move ahead with a sale, if Walmart is still interested.

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