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Steve Crawford: Possibility of business park will be explored.
Steve Crawford: Possibility of business park will be explored.

Prime Inc. makes plan for 103 adjacent acres

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Prime Inc. has acquired 103 acres of real estate adjacent to its Springfield headquarters, 2740 N. Mayfair Ave. Now, company officials are deciding what would best fit in its backyard.

The trucking company closed on the property Aug. 11, according to Re/Max agent/broker John Heitz, who represented Prime. While there are no immediate plans for the property, an expansion of Prime’s facilities and a business park are both under consideration, said Prime General Counsel Steve Crawford.

Bill Beall Co. broker Nancy Herchenroeder said seller Floyd Whitworth bought the land as investment property years ago, noting the tract had been listed with her agency since 2007.

Located off Interstate 44 and U.S. Highway 65 between Neergard and Mayfair avenues, the land was listed at $7 million, with 2009 taxes of $13,527, according to www.billbeall.com. The sale price was not disclosed.

Heitz said he was friends with Bill Beall Co. founder Bill Beall and asked Beall to let him know if there was interest in buying the property.

“A couple of people became interested in the property,” Heitz said. “I let Prime know, and it just happened that everything clicked.”

More than one party was interested in portions of the land, Herchenroeder confirmed, but Prime decided to buy the whole tract. Heitz indicated there is still an opportunity for potential buyers to acquire some of the land from Prime, noting the property, which includes three-quarters of an acre of road fronting Interstate 44, is ideal for a business park.

“It’s just in its infancy right now, but (Prime owner Robert Low) wants to take a look at other industrial parks throughout the state to get some ideas as to what he wants to do with the property,” Heitz said.

According to Crawford, it’s too soon to tell whether some of the land would be used as a business park.

“Certainly, we want to explore the possibilities of an upscale business park on the land,” he said, adding that because it adjoins Prime’s property, there is also a possibility that a “fair piece” would be reserved for the trucking company’s expansion. “I would say that it’s premature to be too specific on the intentions for the development. … It’s not something that we can break down into size or acres.”

Should Prime develop the land into a business park, the additional inventory available to businesses would be welcome, said Dave Coonrod, presiding commissioner for Greene County and president of the Partnership Industrial Center West Administrative Council.

The 360-acre Partnership Industrial Center, between Interstate 44 and East Kearney Street, was developed by the city of Springfield, Greene County, City Utilities, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and The Springfield Finance & Development Corp. because there wasn’t enough inventory, Coonrod said. PIC reached build out in August 2006 and is home to 21 businesses, including Cintas Corp., Jarden Plastic Solutions and Nestlé Purina PetCare.

“We were beginning to have a hard time competing with other cities,” Coonrod said. “We didn’t have that much in our inventory in the past, and that’s what started PIC and that was such a success, that caused us to start PIC West.”

There are still a couple hundred acres available at the 400-acre PIC West, off Interstate 44 and West Kearney Street, Coonrod said, noting the available sites are construction-ready. Still, he would welcome another park.

“My personal opinion is the more the merrier,” he said. “The more space we have available for business and industry that provides the infrastructure they need, be it roads and infrastructure or proximity to rail service and highways, the better.”[[In-content Ad]]

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