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Brody Corners project returns to council 

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The Brody Corners development project was back in front of Springfield City Council at its regular meeting last night. 

Council was prepared to vote on the project Dec. 13, following its introduction at a special meeting Dec. 6, but developer Mike Seitz of West Sunshine Development LLC asked to pull it from that agenda following a Springfield resident’s complaint about transparency. 

The proposed development is located at the corner of West Sunshine Street and James River Freeway, the 28-acre site of a former mobile home park that closed and then sank into pollution and decay, including a sewage lagoon that was contaminating wells in the area. The presence of dilapidated structures, crumbling concrete pads, illegal dumping and underground service lines in need of removal combined to meet the criteria for blight, making the property eligible for tax increment financing plan funding. 

If passed by council, the TIF measure would allow the developer to be reimbursed to the tune of $3.4 million for improvements, with the reimbursement coming from tax revenue generated through businesses established at the site. 

The development plan calls for retail shops, quick-service restaurants, office space and service industry locations, city Economic Development Director Sarah Kerner told council. 

The TIF is proposed over a 23-year period. 

Representing the developer at the meeting was Cory Collins, a partner at the law firm of Husch Blackwell LLP. 

Collins told council the developer is eager to get started after the unexpected delay. He said if council approves the TIF with an affirmative vote at its March 7 meeting, development will begin March 8. 

Collins said the project was unanimously approved twice by the city’s TIF Commission, and the developer plans to clean up the site. 

“We’re not here arguing over whether this is blighted or not,” he said. “We bought it with this in mind.” 

He noted the development would bring public improvements to benefit the entire area, like 3,200 feet of waterline that will serve all of the properties it fronts, as well as the extension of power lines. 

“We’re going to bring power to the area. It’s going to set up this entire area for future development,” he said. 

The developer is working closely with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, which has approved a plan to clean up the site, according to Collins. 

The developer’s planned investment includes $20.5 million in building costs, $1.8 million in land acquisition and $700,000 in parking lot, lighting and signage fees that the developer also will bear, Kerner explained to council. 

Costs that would be reimbursed through the TIF agreement include $2.4 million of an estimated $3 million in sitework expenses, $303,000 for off-site fresh water, $252,000 for off-site road work, $150,000 in professional fees and $300,000 in financing fees. 

The total cost of the project is $27 million, and $3.4 million, or 12%, is reimbursable through the TIF. 

Kerner told council the project passes the “but for” test, which means the project would not be feasible without the TIF. She added projected tax revenues with the redevelopment over 23 years are $8 million, but without redevelopment, taxes would bring in only $288,000. 

Tuesday’s meeting marked the first reading in the second round of consideration of the bill following its withdrawal in December, and the next meeting of council, March 7, will include the second reading and council vote. 

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