by Melissa Wilson
A subdivision of three- and four-bedroom homes with a day-care facility at the entrance, a large neighborhood pool and a five-acre park, all located behind a new elementary school with sidewalks leading to the school's front doors ...
It sounds like a dream come true for young families and Larry Ballard and his family are responsible for it.
Ballard is the general contractor and owner of McGuffey Park, a new Ozark subdivision located behind Ozark North Elementary School on State Highway NN and targeted to attract families with young children.
"We worked with the school on putting this subdivision in and accessing the campus with sidewalks so the kids can walk to school and never have to cross a busy street," Ballard said.
The homes in McGuffey Park range in price from $90,000 to $105,000, and the subdivision will comprise a total of 225 homes. Thirty homes have been sold so far, and 90 percent of the lots are spoken for, Ballard said.
Ballard, who was raised in Aurora, has been building and developing in the Springfield area since the '70s and owned a painting business for several years called Larry Ballard & Sons Painting.
Ballard's business philosophy is to give the customer what they pay for.
"Whatever we build, we try to do a good job on it and give the customer their money's worth," he said.
Ballard, who has held a real estate license for 30 years, has been developing subdivisions since 1992 with his wife, Lena, who handles the bookkeeping.
"My wife, after raising five kids, went to college at age 40 and got a degree in computers. She handles all the paperwork and has a harder job than I do," Ballard said.
His four sons, Robert, Donnie, Jeff, Mike and son-in-law John Scott are also home builders and have built in McGuffey Park. The Ballards also developed Butterfield Subdivision in Nixa and own rental property there.
"McGuffey Park has worked out real well for us and we'll probably do something similar again somewhere else. It's the largest project we've worked on so far," Ballard said.
Developers say city needs a variety of housing types to meet demand.