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Hickory Hills Marketplace developer seeks CID

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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 improvements to the recently rezoned property.

The bill, which received its first reading Monday and is expected to be voted on at the next meeting April 4, calls for a 1-cent district sales tax to be established for 35 years or until $6.5 million is raised to assist Nixa-based Larino Properties LLC with meeting 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. He said storm-water improvements and the construction of connector streets such as Rockhurst Road on the land 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 to $50 million in sales in the district per year.”

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 and Highway 65. After the property zoning change was improved 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. Larino is working to sell 16 lots on the property, and has 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 proposal. No members of the public spoke against the bill.

“I think it’s important to support folks who are donating their time and treasure to these types of projects,” said Gary Powell, an attorney at Husch Blackwell 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.”

Larino most recently developed Chestnut Crossing, a 37-acre development at the corner of Chestnut Expressway and West Bypass featuring Ace Hardware, Arby’s, KFC and Long John Silver’s, and a Price Cutter Plus Supermarket. 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 Supermarket is the planned anchor.

For more on the March 21 City Council meeting, look to the March 28 Springfield Business Journal print edition.[[In-content Ad]]

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