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City Beat: Anderson Engineering plans new HQ

The company first needs an annexation and rezoning on West Bypass

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The future for a parcel of land on West Bypass has been mapped out, pending approval by Springfield City Council.

Anderson Engineering Inc. plans to build a new headquarters at 3200 S. West Bypass, where it’s seeking to purchase land owned by Donald Williams. The sale of the 9-acre property – just northwest of the James River Freeway intersection – is contingent on council giving the green light to an annexation and rezoning proposal.

At council’s meeting on Sept. 10, the governing body held a first reading on the plans.

“We’ve doubled in size the last five years and we’re just out of space. So we’re looking to relocate our office,” Anderson Engineering CEO and President Neil Brady told council, referencing the firm’s current office at 2045 W. Woodland St.

Brady said plans call for a 10,000-square-foot office and a 5,000-square-foot lab. Buxton Kubik Dodd Design Collective is the architect of record, and Anderson Engineering is handling the engineering work. Costs of the project were not disclosed, and Brady said renderings have not yet been produced.

The rezoning of the property to highway commercial from suburban residential would create Conditional Overlay District No. 154. Brady cited city services that come with annexation, such as coverage by the Springfield Police and Fire departments, for the request.

“The city of Springfield is where we want to be. We prefer to be inside of city limits,” he said.

During the meeting, council members voiced their recommendations for a more complete annexation plan moving forward.

“I think it’s something we need to look at as a council and as a city on how we go about annexation rather than just piecemeal annexation property by property,” Councilman Bob Hosmer said. “I just think it doesn’t lead to good long-term planning for the city. In the near future, we need to look at some sort of plan for future annexation.”

A vote for Anderson Engineering’s rezoning and annexation proposal is scheduled for council’s Sept. 24 meeting.

Full lot at Bass Pro
Council reviewed a rezoning request by Bass Pro Shops LLC for a third of an acre at 513 W. Cherokee St. currently zoned high-density multifamily residential.

The outdoor retailer seeks to rezone the parcel to general retail and convert it to parking. The lot sits to the south of the Bass Pro Shops Catalog Outlet and Hemingway’s seafood restaurant.

“They are interested in rezoning this in order to incorporate it into their development,” Springfield Planning and Development Director Mary Lilly Smith told council.

Bass Pro officials already have demolished two buildings directly east and repaved it for parking, said Teresa Davidson of Heithaus Engineering & Associates Inc., who represented Bass Pro at the meeting.

There were no other scheduled speakers for the public hearing of the bill. Council will vote on the rezoning on Sept. 24.

Kansas and Kearney CID
Council members established the Kansas and Kearney Community Improvement District by an 8-0 vote. Councilwoman Kristi Fulnecky was not present.

The district covers 7 acres at the southeast corner of West Kearney Street and North Kansas Expressway. The new CID is bounded by Turner Street to the south and Bolivar Road to the east.

Developers James Tillman and Joseph Hulston purchased about 16 parcels at the corner in October 2017 to develop into a multitenant retail center.

Their development company, Kansas and Kearney Intersection Center LLC, applied for the CID in order to fund planned infrastructure improvements.

The Kansas and Kearney CID was approved to impose a sales and use tax at a maximum of 1 percent on all retail sales made within the district. The only current business within the CID boundary is a Brown Derby liquor store.

Tillman said the tax rate is not yet set.

The developers have their sights set on a restaurant, coffee shop and a fuel station/convenience store, but Tillman said no tenants have yet signed a lease.

“It’s a much needed shot in the arm for economic development in the northwest part of Springfield,” Councilwoman Phyllis Ferguson said of the development plan.

According to city documents, the CID tax has a 30-year lifespan or until the expected $550,000 costs of the improvements are paid.

The improvements listed by the city for the district are roadway improvements to West Turner Street, construction of sidewalks, relocation of overhead electrical and telephone lines, and construction of a right-in/right-out access on North Kansas Expressway at West Turner Street, as well as engineering, surveying, architectural and legal professional services.

According to city documents, the CID will be governed by a five-member board of directors: Tillman, Hulston, Brett Roubal, Luke Fraser and Monte McNew. McNew is an executive vice president at Springfield First Community Bank, Fraser is a senior vice president at Springfield First Community Bank and Roubal is a partner at the Baird Lightner Millsap law firm.

“We’re trying to clean it up and make the north side more beautiful,” said Tillman.


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