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First phase of $30M Bear Village to open in August

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After fighting to get a 10-year tax abatement earlier this year on several blighted properties near Missouri State University, developer Bryan Magers of Bryan Properties Inc. is expanding his plans for redevelopment.

By fall 2015, Magers said he plans to build an 800-unit apartment community dubbed Bear Village, which would cost nearly $30 million, between East Madison Street and East Grand Street on the west side of South Kimbrough Avenue. In January, he told Springfield City Council members the mixed-use development would cost roughly $20 million.

Land already has been cleared for the first phase of the project, a $4.3 million apartment complex. Magers said yesterday he expects that phase to be complete just in time for the start of MSU's fall semester.

 “We’re shooting for Aug. 10 to have it completely furnished and everything working and ready for students to move in,” Magers said.

He said there would be 24 apartment units with four bedrooms and bathrooms apiece, but leases would be signed per bedroom. Each apartment unit comes with two refrigerators and one flat-screen television. The units will be all utilities paid, and should cost about $600 per month.

Other amenities of the complex include a walk-in pool, a library and a weight room. He said Morelock-Ross Builders Inc. is the general contractor, and Empire Bank is the lender for the project.

Magers said the former Alpha Kappa Lambda house at 835 S. Kimbrough Ave. may be renovated to house a restaurant and a pizza delivery and carryout location, but Magers said there wouldn’t be a commercial component to the first phase of the project.

The second phase of Bear Village would begin as soon as the first is complete, Magers said. He said he is funding the first 96 units on his own, and then he’ll bring in an investor partner for the final phases. Magers declined to name that partner.

“We’ll announce sometime this fall what we’re planning on the south side of the student housing,” Magers said, adding that when all is complete, the complex would resemble a small community on about 10 acres of land.

He said it should take about a year to build 300 units during the second phase, and the following 400 units should be finished by fall 2015.

“I’ve been collecting houses in that neighborhood since 1985, and it’s been a real dream of mine to build something nice on that location,” Magers said. “In talking to students and people over at MSU, we really hope that this housing is going to be a great asset for recruiting students, and parents will like it because it gives their children privacy, security and a sense of community.”[[In-content Ad]]

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