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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 as councilmembers last night heard a pair of bills that would first annex roughly 11 acres of land at the corner of Republic Road and FR 135 (Golden Avenue) and then 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 Markets to Springfield. Walmart Stores Inc. purchased five acres on south Glenstone Avenue May 20 with the intention of building a Neighborhood Market.

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 fronts the northeast corner of the land tract.

Springfield Planning and Development Principal Planner Mike MacPherson said City Council should approve the measures because the money that would be 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,” MacPherson said.

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

Other than the Casey’s General Store, the property is vacant, according to the explanation to council. Robert Fitzgerald, partner in Springfield-based First Venture LLC, said the property was sold to First Team Ventures LLC about five years ago. Casey’s Marketing Co. and First Team Ventures LLC own seven parcels of land around the intersection, including the piece up for rezoning, according to Greene County Assessor’s records.

Councilwoman Cindy Rushefsky questioned how city staff had determined revenues for vacant land, and MacPherson said the estimates were based on revenues from similar properties.

MacPherson said Walmart Stores Inc. has submitted building plans to the city. Calls to Walmart and Chris Straw, code administrator with Springfield Building Development Services, were not returned by deadline.

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

For more on the June 27 City Council meeting, look to the July 4 Springfield Business Journal print edition.
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