Springfield, MO A busy intersection is about to get even busier with the opening of (what's expected to be) a world-class attraction. Wonders of Wildlife opens later this month. Now, surrounding businesses and at least one developer is banking on the extra traffic.
Sunshine Street at Campbell Avenue is one of the busiest spots in the city. But, it hasn't always been that way.
"There have been so many changes, and all of it [has been] for the good. But, times change," said Dr. Michael Pfander of Cottage Veterinary Hospital.
Dr. Pfander's business is the oldest one on the corner. His parents opened the clinic back in 1952.
He recalled, "Sunshine Street was the city limits, Campbell Street south of Sunshine was a gravel road. And where Bass Pro is today there was a large dairy farm."
That country gravel road is now a bustling city street. The dairy farm is now the site of the fishing and hunting mega-store.
"What attracted us to this intersection was the traffic flow. There is a place across the street- what is that Bass Pro Shop," joked Jason Pullman, a managing member of the development team. "So, that was a huge factor."
All four businesses: Cottage Veterinary Hospital; Carlson Veterinary Hospital; Missouri Title Loan; and Gunslinger Pawn will be torn down to make way for the future.
"It is what I would say bullseye for the city," said developer Brad Thessing. " We are excited about Bass Pro and Wonders of Wildlife."
While their buildings will be torn down, it won't be the end for the veterinary businesses. Both say they'll continue operating but will be relocating their animal clinics to another part of town.
In place of the current buildings, a new development for restaurant and/or retail will be constructed. Thessing says he is talking to several possible national-brand tenants but isn't able to disclose any names.
"We are excited about the opportunity and the tenants we are going to be able to put here and help put the whole area back on the map," he stated.
The new construction will be wrapping up a few months after the much-anticipated opening of Wonders of Wildlife. The attraction opens September 21.
Pullman said, "As with anything Johnny Morris does, it is fabulous. And I think that is going to make a huge impact on this corner."
"This is such a vital part of this side of Springfield, and I just feel like this development will help to continue to improve that," Pfander stated.
Thessing said demolition work on the existing buildings would take place this coming spring, with construction of the new development beginning so after that.