One building at a time, Springfield’s skyline is getting spruced up.
In recent years, a lot of focus on center-city redevelopment efforts have been on the Heer’s building. That project is slowly coming together.
All the while, three other ‘big ’buildings downtown (the Woodruff, the McDaniel, and the Landmark) were sat mostly vacant and/or falling apart from the inside out.
All three were built in 1911 during one of downtown's original building booms. Now, they’re all coming back to life during downtown’s rebirth.
“Once you have enough people there, it can support retail and new office space coming in line. But, until people are living here, that has got to be the first step,” said Bruce Adib-Yazdi, design and construction manager for The Vecino Group.
Adib-Yazdi and his team have been hard at work. The first project to be completed was turning the Landmark building into the Frisco Lofts. That affordable housing project just recently opened.
Plans are moving forward to turn the former Woodruff highrise into Sky Eleven apartments. That project likely will be completed sometime in 2015.
“I think it will bring some vibrancy down here. I think there will be more people walking around and hopefully that will again create synergy for other businesses,” said developer Tim Roth in an interview with KY3 News in April 2013.
The latest project to be announced would turn the McDaniel Building into ‘The U’ student housing. That project could begin in the coming weeks and be completed by August.
“I think, if you go back and look at other college towns and universities, this housing type . . is not that new,” said Adib-Yazdi. “So, we are a little bit behind the curve here in Springfield with respect to that."
With vacant buildings becoming fewer and further between, Adib-Yazdi believes we could soon start seeing more new construction downtown.
“I think we are setting the example for renovation and redevelopment but I think there is a lot of development work that could happen as well,” said Adib-Yazdi.