Springfield, MO

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No. 11 Jordan Valley Park/Vision 20/20

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When Springfield began the long-range planning process that would become Vision 20/20, one objective that was identified was the need to breathe new life into downtown Springfield. From that plan came Jordan Valley Park, a site that is now home to Hammons Field, Mediacom Ice Park and the Springfield Exposition Center.

The ever-changing Vision 20/20, which is amended as new opportunities and challenges present themselves, began in 1994 with input from the community, city and county staff. It was agreed that the restoration of downtown should become a priority, and in 1998, Springfield citizens passed a 2.5-cent hotel/motel tax to help fund Jordan Valley Park, intended to cover 200 acres between National Avenue to Kansas Expressway.

In August 2001, the city broke ground on the $3 million Phase I of Jordan Valley Park, which opened with an interactive water feature and amphitheater in May 2002. Jordan Valley Ice Park opened in September 2001, and by April 2004, Hammons Field opened and Missouri State University was introducing the concept that would become Jordan Valley Innovation Center, a downtown research hub.

The public investments spurred private development as well. College Station and Wilhoit Plaza, among others, were built during the revitalization period. Nonprofits, including the Discovery Center and the Gillioz Theatre, completed renovations of their facilities.

While the economic downturn put a damper on some projects, including a renovation of the Heer’s building and a new hotel near the Expo Center, Vision 20/20 continues, and the city is in the midst of an updated planning process, once again soliciting community input for the next 20 years.

See the full list of pivotal points chosen by the Springfield Business Journal here.
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