The developer of the planned 46-acre Hickory Hills Marketplace at the northeast corner of Chestnut Expressway and Highway 65 asked Springfield City Council at its March 21 meeting to approve a community improvement district to fund infrastructure work to the recently rezoned property.
The first-reading bill, which is expected to be voted on during the April 4 meeting, calls for a 1-cent CID sales tax to be established for 35 years or until $6.5 million is raised to help Nixa-based Larino Properties LLC satisfy requirements for the general retail district.
“The largest part of those funds will go toward the relocation of Eastgate, but there are a large amount of public improvements that are going to be put in,” said Paul Larino, owner of Larino Properties.
Larino said storm-water improvements and the construction of connector streets such as Rockhurst Road also would affect his expenses. “This will create several hundred construction jobs in the short term and even more jobs in the long term, bringing in $40 million to $50 million in sales in the district per year,” he added.
Larino said in January that he would move Eastgate several hundred yards to the east to accommodate plans for the coming diverging diamond interchange at Chestnut Expressway and Highway 65. After the property zoning change was approved Jan. 24, Larino said he expected the Eastgate relocation to cost approximately $1.5 million.
Larino agreed to purchase the former Hickory Hills school property and adjoining 15.5 acres for $4.45 million last year. He is working to sell 16 lots on the property, and said he has a commitment from an unnamed retail anchor and other businesses to be a part of the shopping center.
A total of five people, including Larino and his attorney, Mike Nichols of Husch Blackwell LLP, spoke in favor of the CID. No members of the public spoke against the proposal.
“I think it’s important to support folks who are donating their time and treasure to these types of projects,” said Gary Powell, a Husch Blackwell attorney, who said he was speaking as a member of the business community. “No one wants to see taxes go up. What we need is to expand the revenue base, and projects like these are a way to expand that revenue base.”
Todd Chambers, the commercial real estate agent managing the sale of the 16 lots for Larino, spoke as a nearby resident in favor of the CID.
“We need the services and retail in that area, and I think this project will make that happen,” he told council.
Chambers later said there was interest in the shopping center, but he couldn’t confirm any commitments.
“We’ve been marketing the site to a number of retailers and restaurants, several of which are considering the property,” Chambers said. “There is interest in it, which there should be. It’s a great location with a tremendous amount of potential. I’m sure we’ll be able to make a deal with them as time goes on.”
Larino most recently developed Chestnut Crossing, a 37-acre development at the corner of Chestnut Expressway and West Bypass featuring Price Cutter Plus Supermarket, Ace Hardware, Arby’s, KFC and Long John Silver’s. Larino started that project in 2005.
He’s also been busy with Wilson’s Creek Marketplace at Republic Road and West Bypass, where a 52,000-square-foot Price Cutter store is the planned anchor.
Foreign Trade Zone Council unanimously approved a special ordinance that would allow the Springfield-Branson National Airport to apply to the U.S. Foreign-Trade Zones Board to reorganize its Foreign Trade Zone. If approved, the move would allow local companies to take advantage of the airport’s FTZ more quickly and create subzones outside of the airport, said airport spokesman Kent Boyd.
Under the current foreign trade zone, companies wait more than a year for approvals to utilize the zone, and they could only do it at the airport.
The application, which was sent March 22, asks for trade subzones in 23 southwest Missouri counties, so companies could hold products in their own facilities rather than at the airport, Boyd said. Approval wait times would decrease to around three months, he added.
Gary Cyr, the airport’s director of aviation, encouraged council members to vote for the ordinance at the March 7 meeting, saying it would allow the airport to collect modest managing fees while saving local companies money.
Cyr said the FTZ can be used by a local company that, for example, wanted to sell fishing rods, with reels, in Canada. If the fishing rods were brought to the FTZ from China and the reels were brought to the FTZ from Brazil, the rods and reels could be packaged together inside the FTZ, and then shipped to Canada. With such work occurring inside the FTZ, the company wouldn’t have to pay U.S. tariffs. If the company sold the assembled product inside the United States, it wouldn’t have to pay tariffs until the product was removed from the FTZ.[[In-content Ad]]