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Springfield City Council considers ‘Commercial-Pacific Redevelopment Plan’

The Missouri Hotel, shown on March 25, 2024, is among the properties covered by the Commercial-Pacific Redevelopment Plan.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
The Missouri Hotel, shown on March 25, 2024, is among the properties covered by the Commercial-Pacific Redevelopment Plan.

A new Commercial Street redevelopment plan seeks tax breaks through a blight designation.

If City Council approves developer Titus Williams’ blight project, construction would soon begin on phase 1 of the Commercial-Pacific Redevelopment Plan. Phase 1 is also known as “Pacific South.” It would include 72 townhome units, replacing the old Klingner Cope funeral home and a neighboring property just south of historic Commercial Street.

And for 10 years, Pacific South would benefit from 100-percent real property tax abatement linked to the blight designation. For the following 15 years, they’d get a 50-percent discount. In other words, 25 years of tax breaks intended to help make redevelopment plans possible.

Danny Crisp, a Midtown resident who owns C-Street property, said, "everybody, as you guys have already heard here tonight, is on board and excited about the Pacific South development. Want some shovels in the ground as soon as possible, so, yeah.”

The former Klingner Cope funeral home and a nearby property would be replaced by the Pacific South development with 72 townhomes.
Gregory Holman/KSMU
The former Klingner Cope funeral home and a nearby property would be replaced by the Pacific South development with 72 townhomes.

But the Commercial-Pacific Redevelopment Plan has three more phases set to come after the $15 million Pacific South portion. They include a plan to renovate the Missouri Hotel along historic C-Street, and to build 200 apartments on the north side of Pacific.

That idea drew skepticism from many neighborhood voices, and some council members. Many worried that blighting the whole 7-acre area would set up the city to approve the developer’s three future phases — without enough input from other stakeholders.

Irene Schaefer, a C-Street business owner and neighborhood advocate, said she wants the Pacific South portion to go forward. “However," she told Council, "I am not in support of the entire project moving forward as one project. Supporting many comments that I’ve heard tonight, it just feels like decoupling the phases into their own redevelopment projects would be smoother and we could work through the issues faced with each of those different projects.”

Council is expected to vote on the current plan April 8.

Gregory Holman is a KSMU reporter and editor focusing on public affairs.