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No. 29 BKD downtown HQ

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Top 10 national accounting firm BKD LLP was at a crossroads for its corporate offices. By 2007, officials had determined the Springfield-based firm had outgrown its eight floors leased in the 22-story Hammons Tower.

Firm officials committed to downtown Springfield and chose a Kansas City developer to build its new headquarters on land in University Plaza’s parking lot directly across St. Louis Street from Hammons Tower, which BKD called home for 20 years.

However, the two-year process was anything but simple, with BKD right in the thick of city-developer negotiations and caught in a development tussle between John Q. Hammons and Rick Huffman of Branson’s HCW Development. With developers mixing in the city’s need for a convention hotel, BKD’s corporate discussions also caused a split between tourism officials and office advocates on what development would best serve center city.

BKD was first interested in building on the 1.7-acre vacant parcel between the Jordan Valley Car Park and Expo Center, possibly connected to a proposed hotel. It also considered the Heer’s building in the process, but officials said they quickly realized the extensive rehab would not meet desires for a signature corporate headquarters.

In the end, BKD had four developers vying for the right to build its headquarters in the heart of Springfield, and Opus Northwest LLC won the race. In August 2009, BKD moved its roughly 260 employees into a $21.5 million, 109,000-square-foot four-story building. It leases three floors from Opus Northwest at 910 E. St. Louis St.

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