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SRC, Springfield Underground to build own industrial parks

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by Karen E. Culp

SBJ Staff

Manufacturing development continues: Two local businesses are building industrial parks of their own.

Two planned developments will be private industrial parks once they are developed, though the parks' uses will be dissimilar to that of a recently proposed second Partnership Industrial Center. The developments, however, are concerns for a group of neighbors in the area near them.

The Pierson Creek Area Conservation Team, as the group is calling itself, asked for more time to review a proposal by Springfield ReManufacturing Corp. to develop approximately 67 acres roughly bordered by Kearney, I-44, Old Wire Road and Mulroy Road.

The development would be a consolidated campus for SRC's 33 different businesses. The company has all of its subsidiary businesses within a 90-mile radius, but it is the dream of those affiliated with the company to have a consolidated campus.

"That's our dream. We would like to put all of our businesses in one spot and have a training center in the middle," said Jack Stack, chief executive officer.

The Springfield-based company is known for its open-book management style and for encouraging entrepreneurship within its corporation. Many of the subsidiary businesses within the SRC family were started because of that entrepreneurship, Stack said.

The group of residents who are concerned about development in the Pierson Creek area include some well-known Springfieldians, such as Jim Hedges, the founder of Dial US, who also helped organize the group, and Jeannie Morris, of the John L. Morris family, who is building a home in the area, said Jim Tucker, an attorney representing the group.

The group is now more than 100 people strong, and at a previous Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, asked to study the SRC proposal further. The proposal was to have been heard by Planning and Zoning Dec. 17.

Some of the concerns regarding the development were lighting and an increase in traffic in the area, Tucker said. SRC had a traffic study performed and plans to follow its recommendations, Stack said. The company will move existing businesses there, and will also have room for expansion, which is ongoing, he added.

The company is in negotiations with some original equipment manufacturers and is working on agreements with them.

Tucker said the residents are also concerned about an above-ground development for Springfield Underground in the same general area. The ground development will literally be on top of Springfield Underground's underground facility, and this particular planned development will include a mixed use, said Louis Griesemer, one of the owners of Springfield Underground.

The Springfield Underground request will go before Planning and Zoning Jan. 28. The total project, 402 acres, will include 55 acres of commercial, 87 acres of office and 260 acres of manufacturing property. The company plans to keep manufacturing on the north side of the development, farther away from the residential area, Griesemer said.

The site was one of those considered for a second industrial park in Springfield, also, but because of its proposed mixed use, Griesemer said he didn't think it fit very well into the partnership's plan for a strictly manufacturing park.

"There's enough ground there that we could have a large call-center type operation, but we don't have any solid ideas about all the possible uses. We just know there are several different applications available of the land," Griesemer said.

The site was considered by First Card for its call center a few years ago, Griesemer said, and that process was what led the company to consider developing an industrial park on the property.

"At that time, we weren't ready for a tenant like that, but the process got us to thinking about what we could do," Griesemer said.[[In-content Ad]]

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