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Construction starts on dog-friendly development

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Construction crews have cleared the land and a building is starting to take shape at 3110 E. Cherry St., the future home of dog park and bar concept Bark Yard.

Though construction was initially expected to be complete by mid-2020, the project is now on pace to wrap up by the end of the year, said Bark Yard co-owner Tommy Buterbaugh. However, the new dog park won’t be open to the four-legged animals and their owners until next spring.

“With the nature of our business, we thought it would be better to wait until next spring when the weather is better,” Buterbaugh said, adding construction delays were largely due to the finalization of design details and rainy weather. “With the delays and (COVID-19) on top of it, it didn’t give us any incentive to hit our initial deadline.”

Bark Yard’s design plans call for a roughly 3-acre dog park; a 6,000-square-foot building for day care, boarding and an indoor dog park; and a bar and patio area, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting. The dog park will require daily, weekly or annual passes, though the bar and patio will be open to the public, said Buterbaugh. Pricing structures have not yet been determined.

Buterbaugh and co-owner Blake Gammon announced their plans last summer for the 5-acre lot, which they purchased from Brent Johnson, who’s building an office for his Sonic Drive-In franchise group a few blocks down on East Cherry Street, according to past SBJ reporting.

Buterbaugh has declined to disclose project costs, but a city permit for the dog park lists an estimated value at $1.4 million. Ozark-based general contractor Construct LLC and St. Louis-based architecture firm Schaub Projects LLC are signed on to the project.

Bark Yard is slated to join Springfield’s only off-leash dog park Cruse Dog Park, which opened in 2008.

SBJ also observed a construction crew moving dirt next door where Morelock Builders & Associates Inc. is planning a multifamily apartment complex, also designed for dog lovers. The $27 million complex, dubbed The Crossings at East Cherry, will feature dog-friendly community spaces and amenities, according to past SBJ reporting.

Construct also is wrapping up work on Johnson’s corporate office for his franchise group, Excel Investments LP. Project manager Nathan Henderson of general contractor Construct LLC said construction is expected to be complete next week.

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