Right now, property at the northeast corner of West Walnut Street at Main Avenue is full of run-down, closed-up auto repair shops. But that may soon be changing. The property may soon be transformed into a modern retail and residential development.
“It really is a new chapter in Springfield’s continuing evolution,” said Rusty Worley, president of the Urban Districts Alliance. “ We are excited about this new life that is coming as the west end of Springfield’s downtown continues to develop.”
Springfield Brewing Company, which the project will adjoin, is spearheading the effort to build the Brewery District. The big red brick and glass building will host stores and offices on the first floor, and loft apartments on the second and third floors.
Most of the buildings here now will be torn down.
“The buildings that are located there are in such a deteriorated state that renovating is almost not possible,” said Lindsey Bragg, an attorney representing the developer
There will also be space for Springfield Brewing Company to expand with space for a distillery and a banquet area.
The developer is asking for a 25-year tax abatement from the city.
“’It gives them a cut on their taxes to help finance the project basically,” said Bragg. “If it were not for the tax abatement, they probably would not be able to afford to do it. There are substantial renovations that need to take place.”
“It will be a really good improvement, a really good investment to that area. It shows the maturation of downtown of how we have come to another level,” said Worley.
Thursday night, the city’s Planning and Zoning commission heard a presentation about the plan. Members voted, and decided the project does line up with the Comprehensive Plan for that area.
The developers were out of town on Thursday, and were unavailable to answer details regarding a timeline for construction -- if the plans are approved.