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Wal-Mart plans south-side Neighborhood Market

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Plans for a second Walmart Neighborhood Market in Springfield were made public last week as council members considered a pair of bills that would first annex roughly 11 acres at the corner of Republic Road and FR 135/Golden Avenue and rezone 9.1 acres into a general retail district.

The move appears to be part of a larger strategic plan to bring at least two Neighborhood Market stores to Springfield. In May, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. purchased five acres on south Glenstone Avenue with the intention of building a Neighborhood Market, according to the agent representing the seller of the property.

According to records attached to the bill for the Republic/Golden property, the former property owner, First Venture LLC, signed an irrevocable consent to annexation in 2005 to extend sanitary sewer services. The annexation would include 1.9 acres of rights-of-way at the intersection and 9.1 acres of property at the southwest corner of the intersection, which is now zoned a commercial district within unincorporated Greene County. A Casey’s General Store fronting the Republic and Golden intersection is the only structure on the property.

Planning and Zoning staff recommended City Council approval, noting that revenues generated by annexing the land and rezoning the property would outweigh the cost of delivering public services to the area.

“There would be substantial amounts of revenue and minimal amounts of expenditures associated with this,” Principal Planner Mike MacPherson told council.

The city estimates the costs of delivering services such as city Police and Fire protection would amount to $24,145 after five years, and the revenues generated would total $156,400.

Bob Fitzgerald, partner in First Venture LLC, said the property was sold to First Team Ventures LLC about five years ago. Casey’s Marketing Co. owns one parcel around the intersection and First Team Ventures owns six parcels, including the acreage up for rezoning, according to Greene County assessor’s records. First Team Ventures and First Venture are not affiliated, Fitzgerald said.

Chris Straw, code administrator with Springfield Building Development Services, said Wal-Mart Stores submitted plans for the $1.7 million market June 15. Once those have been reviewed and re-submitted, another review would take place before a building permit could be issued.  

No members of the public spoke during the public hearing. The bills are up for a vote at the July 11 meeting.

According to, Wal-Mart operates 185 Neighborhood Market stores in the U.S. Products and services include grocery items, drive-through pharmacies, one-hour photo labs, health and beauty aids, paper goods and household supplies.

Spokesman Dan Morales said Wal-Mart would hire up to 90 people for the roughly 42,000-square-foot south-side store. He said there was no target opening date.

“We know residents want more access to affordable and healthy food and convenient access to quality jobs. In this particular, case we are uniquely positioned to deliver both,” Morales said.

Morales would not confirm the reportedly planned location at the corner of Glenstone Avenue and Bennett Street or any other plans in Springfield. Straw said plans for a roughly $1.6 million Neighborhood Market were submitted for that site June 22.

Apartment plan in question
A 46-unit apartment complex that would house low-income tenants drew the ire of about a dozen west-side residents who opposed a pair of related bills.

Planning and Zoning staff recommended council approve Affordable Homes Development Inc.’s rezoning request of 6.2 acres of mostly wooded land north of Westport Elementary and Westport Park to a low-density multifamily residential district from single-family residential and highway commercial.

While the development would provide housing for tenants who earn between 60 percent and 80 percent of the median income in Greene County, Affordable Homes Development owners Joe and Marie Carmichael emphasized the project was not funded by Housing and Urban Development. The project would receive state and federal tax credits.

Residents expressed concern about the impact on traffic that would result on the area from the apartments and the expansion of Westport Elementary as it transitions into a K-8 school.

“The right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing,” said West College Street resident Carolyn Wilson, on the doubling effect of the two plans.

Others in opposition cited children’s safety and falling property values.

Joe Carmichael said his company was reacting to a community need for affordable housing.

The Carmichaels said they would require background checks for residents and place fencing and landscaping to reduce the visual impact of the apartments to help appease neighbors.

“I don’t want anybody in my building who you don’t want in your neighborhood,” Marie Carmichael responded during the meeting.

Due to the strong opposition of nearby residents to the Westport Woods Apartment project – 28 residents submitted letters against the project following notification of a neighborhood meeting – council would need a supermajority, or six of nine votes, to approve the bills.[[In-content Ad]]


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