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Infrastructure work for The Ridge at Ward Branch is scheduled to start in February, according to the project’s co-developer.
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Infrastructure work for The Ridge at Ward Branch is scheduled to start in February, according to the project’s co-developer.

Without TIF, The Ridge work to start next year

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The developers behind an expansive, mixed-use project on the south side intend to move forward without tax increment financing assistance.

Phil Williams, co-developer of The Ridge at Ward Branch via RW Developments LLC, said a modified development plan is in the works. RW Developments had been seeking TIF assistance for roads and infrastructure at the development, but Williams said “the current process to receive approval has taken us far beyond reasonable expectations.”

“There were additional delays being forecasted and we are no longer able to wait further. This project will happen in some capacity, just not to the extent it would have if we had been able to use TIF for the infrastructure,” Williams said via email. “We are confident that the city will be addressing what has caused our delays and issues for future projects, and are excited to see where Springfield is headed with those adjustments.”

The city of Springfield announced earlier this week that a planned TIF Advisory Commission meeting to review The Ridge plan was canceled, as the developer requested to withdraw it from consideration. This summer, the Springfield Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority denied a related blight petition for The Ridge.

Announced in summer 2018, The Ridge had been marketed as a development that would have an estimated value exceeding $500 million upon completion, with plans calling on residential and commercial spaces. Williams did not provide a new figure by deadline.

For RW Developments, the issue is bedrock and challenging topography at the 100-acre site, located adjacent to The Library Center on South Campbell Avenue.

“The amount of rock that needs removed to give road access on this site is enough to cover a football field 150-feet high, so the justification for a TIF is there,” Williams said.

RW Developments plans to break ground on infrastructure work in February, Williams said, noting additional information would become available once project details are finalized.

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