New development could expand IDEA Commons, downtown Springfield

A big addition could be coming to downtown Springfield.

A partnership between Missouri State University, the city, and a private developer would grow IDEA Commons.

The area is just north of the square.

The goal is to bring more people and businesses to the downtown area, which has already been growing quickly for the last several years.
The two-acre area along Boonville Avenue could become home to a large development complete with office, retail, and lab space.

Missouri State owns what is now a parking lot and the Vecino Group owns the part of the lot that a bar and nightclub sits on.

While they are still in the research phase of the project, the nightclub and the old building right next to Jordan Valley Innovation Center will likely be torn down to make space for the new building.

City leaders say the project would open up doors for economic development downtown.

"You can be looking at immediate needs that are met. Everything from potentially, retail space to flexible, modern, Class-A office space, all very valuable and put immediately to use. Parking, day-lighting the creek. But I think what's most inspiring and exciting about this project is it holds the potential to be transformative and catalytic to other projects," Springfield Chamber of Commerce President Matt Morrow said.

Another part of the project would be to uncover Jordan Creek, which runs through the property underground. The hope is that the creek will become an amenity and also help to fix storm water issues.

A plan and design of the space could be finished within about four months.