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The Ridge is planned on South Campbell Avenue, adjacent to The Library Center.
SBJ file rendering
The Ridge is planned on South Campbell Avenue, adjacent to The Library Center.

2018 Year In Review: 2. Real estate family announces $500M planned development

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SPRINGFIELD, JULY—The Williams family of real estate businessmen announced plans July 10 for their new Enterprise Commercial Group LLC with five divisions, including a southwest Missouri franchise for New York City-based NAI Global, which has more than 400 offices worldwide, some 7,000 brokers and over $20 billion in commercial real estate transactions annually.

Days later, they unveiled plans for The Ridge at Ward Branch, a 100-acre mixed-use development on far South Campbell Avenue that, upon completion, would have an estimated value of $500 million. Led by Phil Williams and business partner Trip Rhodes, The Ridge calls on commercial space for potential tenants including restaurants, hotels, offices, retail centers and lofts, as well as bike trails and natural elements to form a park-like environment. Officials expect the first 60 acres will be completed in 2021. On the back 40 acres, the business partners’ RW Developments LLC plans to open a senior living continuum-of-care community. No timeline has been set for the second phase.

“We’ve got a substantial amount of interest on the front end from tenants. We have quite a bit of office space that people have already put a lot of interest in,” Phil Williams said this summer. “It’s exceeded all of our expectations.”

He also is a co-owner in NAI Enterprise with his father Brad and brother Titus, with plans to relocate the franchise to The Ridge adjacent to The Library Center. Titus Williams, who owns Enterprise Commercial with his father, also is working to redevelop The Kitchen Inc.’s Commercial Street campus – upon the nonprofit relocating – into a residential and commercial center with the aid of new market tax credits.

The family also quickly leased to capacity a center city apartment complex dubbed 800 South in mid-2018.

The announcements of Enterprise Commercial, NAI and The Ridge came after the Williams family in June sold their Missouri Valley REIT Inc. to Fargo, North Dakota-based Edgewood REIT.

Enterprise Commercial now manages $550 million in assets, including $450 million for other firms such as Edgewood.

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