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On The Edges--Republic

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by Dianne Rarick

So far in 1998, 11 commercial building permits with a total value of $2,625,753 have been issued in the city of Republic. During 1997, only six permits were issued, but the total valuation was $7,554,000, with the largest project being Smitty's. During 1996, only one commercial building permit was issued with a value of $50,000.

On the residential side, 140 residential building permits have been issued through third-quarter 1998, with a value of $12,315,159. In 1997, the city issued 130 residential permits with a value of $10,737,900.

According to City Planner Randall Whitman, Republic commercial building projects completed or in the works this year include: Republic Security Storage, the Calvin Sowder Office, Burger King, Cox Ambulance Barn, the Kevin Medlin Dental Office, Merchants Park, Wilson Office Warehouse, Countryside Bank, a Conco Companies cement silo and Town and Country Bank.

"We have really high traffic counts on the highway," Whitman said. With more than 138 houses built in 1998, people are quickly moving into Republic.

"The James River Freeway has lots to do with it, because people can get to the east side of Springfield fast. We don't have a significant industrial base yet, but the residential activity is really contributing. It builds on itself," Whitman said.

He also acknowledged that "a hotel is on the horizon," as well as the completion of Frisco Square, a retail area similar to Springfield's Chesterfield Village. Frisco Square is anchored by the Smitty's by Albertson's store.

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