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Larry Lipscomb of Dearborn Development welcomes AG Financial Solutions as developer of the last parcel in Chesterfield Village. The firm plans a Sept. 1 move to a 60,000-square-foot headquarters.
Larry Lipscomb of Dearborn Development welcomes AG Financial Solutions as developer of the last parcel in Chesterfield Village. The firm plans a Sept. 1 move to a 60,000-square-foot headquarters.

Last Piece to the Chesterfield Puzzle

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After 17 years, the final parcel of southwest Springfield’s Chesterfield Village is under development.

AG Financial Solutions is building a 60,000-square-foot, three-story headquarters on the final 8.5-acre site in the development, the former site of the 300-acre Lester E. Cox family farm.
Cox’s grandsons – Lester B. Cox and Larry Lipscomb – created Dearborn Development in 1993 to develop the property at Kansas Expressway and James River Freeway.

“We’re excited to have (AG Financial) out there,” said Lipscomb, Dearborn Development’s president. “The economy prompted them to be a little more cautious and wait until now to build. But it will mean a couple hundred employees out on the property, which will help the retail.”

The identity of Chesterfield Village has evolved over nearly two decades, from its original vision as a place to live, work, shop and eat.

“It’s taken a lot of different shapes,” Lipscomb said, noting the development is 97 percent occupied with 3,000 square feet available. “It started out with retailers, mom-and-pop businesses that were in there and some office.”

While 80 percent of Chesterfield Village’s tenants are office users and 20 percent are retailers, Lipscomb said it was difficult for retail businesses to survive early on because there wasn’t enough density.

“The houses weren’t completed yet, and there was not enough office space built out,” he said. “The Palace theater always did well, but the other retailers had a tough time early on.”  

The 28,771-square-foot theater, which is leased through 2015, is for sale for $3.35 million.

Other recent Chesterfield Village developments include Summit Preparatory School leasing the 28,800-square-foot Noble I building with an option to purchase from the Springfield advertising agency. Noble still occupies two Chesterfield Village buildings. 

From Springfield Business Journal's media partner KSPR
 


AG Financial has set a Sept. 1 move-in date. The financial services arm of the Springfield-based multibillion-dollar Assemblies of God USA is relocating from a 35,000-square-foot office at 1661 Boonville Ave.

Members of the company’s executive management team were traveling on business last week, and Springfield Business Journal’s questions were referred to E. Wayne Starr of New Castle, Colo.-based developer Lancewood Corp. Starr, vice president of Lancewood, aided AG Financial with site selection.

The firm originally had planned to build on 11 acres at the southeast corner of Kansas Expressway and Battlefield Road, but Starr recommended Chesterfield Village.

“The access to the property is very good,” Starr said. “Being able to access it from James River Freeway and Kansas Expressway, which are two major thoroughfares, that was one of the reasons.”

AG Financial sided with Starr and sold the Battlefield Road acreage to Hy-Vee Inc., which plans to build a supermarket on the site.

In Chesterfield Village, Starr said enough land is available for another AG Financial building, but current plans call for an employee park and greenspace.

AG Financial employs 150 and provides financial services for more than 60,000 customers. The company’s 2009 lending portfolio was $1.2 billion, and it dispersed $25 million to ministries, missions and churches, according to its annual report.

As the only occupants of the building in the 3800-block of South Cox Road, employees will gain more room to do their work, Starr said, noting the ratio of square foot per worker is about 300.

“Part of the motivation for the new building is just to provide a better work environment, including more usable space,” he said. “There’s no room for expansion where they are.”

AG Financial purchased the Chesterfield Village land for an undisclosed amount in a September 2007 deal handled by R.B. Murray Co. The deal followed a July 2006 planned development amendment by Springfield City Council permitting a building up to six stories tall to be built as either an office or hotel.

Springfield-based architecture firm Bates & Associates designed AG Financial’s building, and Killian Construction Co. is general contractor.

Involved since the development’s beginning, project architect Alan Bates said he’s designed more than two-thirds of the buildings in Chesterfield Village, and he called it a labor of love.

“It’s kind of the end of a long, very enjoyable road,” Bates said. “It’s changed a lot since we got started. It’s gone from large retail to mostly office.”

The original plan had the development taking about 10 years to complete.

“We didn’t know,” Lipscomb said. “We’re not developers, really. That was a family farm; I was pretty adamant of keeping that and passing that on to my kids and grandkids. Other family members shared that view. We just wanted to leave something to our kids.

“And the family farm – the farmhouses are still intact.”[[In-content Ad]]

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