SPRINGFIELD, -- One of the oldest shopping centers in town might get a facelift.
Folks have shopped at the Country Club Center north of the intersection of Sunshine Street at Glenstone Avenue since the 1950s. Business owners call the center outdated. They propose plans for a Community Improvement District. This would create a special sales tax -- up to one percent -- to pay for the upgrades. This means customers would foot the bill.
The proposal calls for more than $1 million in renovations. Supporters want to improve the parking lot and access to the shopping center. They want to clean up some of the wear and tear.
Business owners also want to make the sidewalks even and upgrade lighting to make for a safer area.
"I'm all for it. You have probably seen our center from looking across the street. You can see there's room for some improvements. This just seems like a no-brainer," said Kevin Hopkins, owner of Springfield Leather Company.
"If you don't reinvest back into it, other properties around have a tendency to fall in disrepair as well. You've got to look at this as an investment for the city and the community. In the long term, everyone will benefit," said Curtis Jared, president and chief operating officer of Jared Enterprises, which owns part of the Country Club Center.
The proposal is scheduled to go before city council on Monday night. This will be the first hearing. A decision could be made by the end of the month. If approved, business owners say they plan to start construction right away.